Christians are being driven from the Middle East, says no less than the Pope. Sounds like news to me, but the only agency writing about it is AFP, Agence France Presse. Read it here, picked up by Al-Arabiya and many other news outlets.
My question is–did only AFP, a relatively small agency, report this story? I have some indication that this was a “pool,” meaning only the AFP reporter might have been at the event in Erbil, a city in Iraq where thousands of Christians have taken refuge. That means the AFP reporter’s notes and story must be made available to everyone else on the tour. It’s a common method of keeping press contingents to a manageable size. But once everyone else gets the material, all are allowed to use it with their own bylines and the dateline of the event. That’s how it works.
So didn’t it work this time? Are AP and Reuters and major newspapers who cover the Pope still working on their stories? Did something go wrong with the distribution of the pool material? Or does someone out there think that the Pope charging that Christians are being driven out the Middle East isn’t a proper news story? I mean, really…as one who suffered from a major news agency, the one I worked for, spiking my absolutely legitimate news stories, I automatically assume the worst. I hope I’m wrong.
The story of Christians being persecuted in the Mideast is one of the most under-reported stories around here. It’s not hard to undersrtand why. Christians are so intimidated by the Muslim majority and its violent extremists that they are deathly afraid, literally, to talk about it. That makes it had to report. Not impossible, but hard. Other stories are so much easier, though, and they get just as much play. You all know what I mean.
But let’s just end this just by pointing out that there is only one place in the Mideast where the Christian population is increasing. That would be Israel.