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Letters: Outrage over Christian persecution

The Amir Tadros Church in Minya, some 250

The Amir Tadros Church in Minya, some 250 kms south of Cairo, which was set ablaze on August 14, 2013. Egypt's Christians are living in fear after a string of attacks against churches, businesses and homes they say were carried out by angry supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. (Aug. 18, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

I very much appreciated columnist Cathy Young calling attention to the plight of Christians being persecuted in other nations, and her plea that the failings of governments in the Middle East should not be used to incite bigotry against Muslims here ["Oppression of Christians gets political," Opinion, Oct. 15].

It is worth noting also that American taxpayers have propped up many of these repressive governments under both Democratic and Republican administrations, that other religious minorities are often persecuted alongside Christians -- such as Shia Muslims, Ismailis and Ahmadiyyas in Pakistan -- and that many of our Muslim neighbors came here to escape the same regimes that oppress Christians.

The Rev. Thomas Goodhue, Amityville

Editor's note: The writer is the director of the Long Island Council of Churches, a coordinating body for Christian churches.

Cathy Young outlined the intensity of anti-Christian attacks in multiple Muslim countries, but decried American conservatives who "make melodramatic claims about a 'war on Christianity.' "

What Young fails to understand is that it is the duty of all Americans to decry bigotry wherever it occurs. When Kristallnacht occurred in November 1938, the world's protest against this anti-Jewish pogrom was muted. This virtual silence encouraged Adolf Hitler to set in motion "the final solution" in the months that followed because there was no outcry to constrain his ultimate plan.

I say to American conservatives, and to all Americans for that matter, we must protest the bigoted destruction of churches and the wanton murder of Christians as vigorously as possible. To paraphrase the old saying: For evil to succeed, good men must do nothing!

Nathan Begelman, Atlantic Beach