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We are the Modern Knights Templar, an Ecumenical Christian and Chivalric charitable Order. We do not claim a direct lineage to the original Knights of the Temple, but we do seek to emulate their positive attributes in our daily lives today. We have adopted two of the original Templar missions of Protecting Christians at Risk particularly in the Holy Land and the Middle East and in Keeping the Road to Jerusalem open to all people as our own.

Affiliated with the International Order (OSMTH)





2016 Archive

News (Archive-2016)

The conditions faced by the Christian population across the Middle East are important for caring Christians around the world to understand. Major media outlets too often provide us, however, with an incomplete (and sometimes inaccurate) account of events there and their causes. We present herewith a collection of well-written articles on the Christian situation to help broaden your understanding of this important subject. Articles reflect the authors’ research and opinions, not those of SMOTJ.

January 2016

Christians Flee Growing Persecution in Africa and Middle East

Crimes against Christians worsened in 2015 and not just in the Middle East. An annual review released recently by Open Doors highlights countries around the world where Christians were most at risk last year.

The Guardian
By Harriet Sherwood, Religion Correspondent
12 Jan 2016

Millions escaped countries such as Nigeria, Eritrea, Syria and Iraq in 2015, according to charity. Read more....

February 2016

ISIS Is Guilty of Anti-Christian Genocide

A leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Midwest marks the anniversary of Islamic State’s brutal execution of 21 innocent Christian Copts in Egypt. He warns of letting discouragement become the excuse for inaction in the face of such genocide by terrorists.

Wall Street Journal - Opinion
By Demetrios of Mokissos
Feb. 11, 2016 7:13 p.m. ET

As we remember the murder of the Copts, the world needs to call this crime what it is. Read more....

March 2016

Calls Grow to Label Attacks on Middle East Christians as Genocide

While academicians and diplomats debate the correct term for the slaughter of ME Christians by Islamic State, “genocide” is the term used by a growing number of leaders.

The Guardian
By Harriet Sherwood-Religion Correspondent
Thursday 10 March 2016

Hillary Clinton, European parliament and UK MPs are among those who have used term while condemning attacks. Read more....

IDC Spotlight: April Government Relations Update

In this month's government relations update, read about IDC's (In Defense of Christians) journey to achieve a genocide designation, beginning with the unanimous, bi-partisan passage of H. Con. Res. 75 in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House with a vote of 393-0, declaring the crimes of ISIS against Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities as'genocide' directly following the release of a genocide brief by IDC and the Knights of Columbus, the Obama Administration's historic genocide designation for those targeted by ISIS, and legislation to provide relief to syrian religious minority refugees.


April 2016

Unite to Defeat Radical Jihadism

An opinion piece from a former staffer of the Reagan Administration, offering her observations on our misguided approach to Islamic State’s terrorism, and the importance of restoring citizens’ faith in their leaders to successfully confront it. For further reading, a link to the article she references is included at the end.

The Wall Street Journal
March 25, 2016

It will require Western elites to form an alliance with the citizens they’ve long disrespected.

Read more....

When the Necessary Is Impossible

Author Thomas Friedman offers a different perspective on our approach to Islamic State, describing the difficulties in the region and how President Obama is doing the best anyone can.

The New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman
MARCH 30, 2016

Sulaimaniya, Iraq — Being back in Iraq after two years’ absence has helped me to put my finger on the central question bedeviling U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East today: What do you do when the necessary is impossible, but the impossible is impossible to ignore — and your key allies are also impossible?

Read more....

May 2016

Islamic State in Retreat

Islamic State’s murderous expansion across the Middle East has received plenty of media attention. This article describes a different scenario: how the nations battling IS could rollback the “caliphate” by the end of next year.

Jonathan R. Laing
April 30, 2016

An unlikely coalition is beating back ISIS, pointing to more Mideast stability and economic growth amid low oil prices and shifting power dynamics.

Read more....

June 2016

Christianity's Claim in the Birthplace of Islam

This excerpt from the original article widens our usual focus on Middle East Christians, and looks at the situation of Christians in the Gulf States, east of the Holy Land. Christians here are faring as badly as their brethren in the regions of Palestine and Iraq.
By Hilal Khashan
April 23, 2016

When the Arab Spring began, the Christians of the Middle East hoped they would soon be considered equal to the region's Muslims.

Read more....

July 2016

The Precarious State of Middle East Christians

An interview with Danish journalist Klaus Wivel.

Weekly Standard
By Lee Smith
June 10, 2016

Klaus Wivel is a reporter writing for the Danish weekly Weekendavisen. His book about Middle Eastern Christians, The Last Supper: The Plight of Christians in Arab Lands, was just published in the United States. Wivel sat down with me recently to discuss his book, the Christian community in the Middle East, how those Christians are received in Europe, and what the future holds.

Read the article.

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