Dr. Richard Land

​Radical Islamist Violence Is Slow-Motion Genocide in Middle East—and Escalating Danger at Home

May 5, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Dr. Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), a leader in apologetics education, is warning of a “slow-motion Christian genocide” that the world can no longer ignore, and the recent shootings in Garland, Texas are further evidence that this genocide is moving to American shores.

Radical Islamist Violence Is Slow-Motion Genocide in Middle East—and Escalating Danger at Home

Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land Says Civilized World Must Respond

 “Radical Islamist jihadism is a direct threat to our basic freedoms as Americans,” Land said. “Our fellow citizens were exercising their First Amendment rights in Garland, Texas—as ‘heart of middle America’ as you can get—and they were targeted in an attack that sought to cause maximum damage. It is clear that the terrorists showed up when the meeting was supposed to adjourn, armed with AK-47s with maximum magazines, seeking to spray the crowd and inflict as much damage as possible. The Garland police are to be commended for their quick, life-saving actions. We should all be thankful that many more people were not killed.

“The response of the targeted victims in the hall was exactly the right response. They waved the American flag and sang ‘God Bless America.’ Personally, I do not think it’s appropriate to mock someone else’s religion, and I wouldn’t do it. However, my religious faith as an Evangelical Christian gets mocked all the time, and I do not for one moment believe I have the right to even legally restrict people from doing so, much less seek to kill them because they’ve mocked my faith. I am angered and saddened when I see someone desecrate the American flag, but that is protected speech. It’s when speech is controversial that it most needs protection. Make no mistake about it, if we were to voluntarily forego mockery of someone else’s faith, these Islamist jihadist fascists would find something else to object to and threaten to kill us if we didn’t comply with their new demands. I suspect most Americans agree with me—better to die on our feet, exercising our God-given rights, than to live on our knees before a bunch of murderous terrorists. And we should remember if it can happen in Garland, it can happen anywhere. It’s time to get serious with ISIS and its affiliates—deadly serious.”

Land added that the events in Garland are an extension of deadly attacks targeting Christians in the Middle East.

Writing recently of the attack on 150 university students in Kenya last month—many slaughtered for their Christian faith—Land noted,

“This savage attack is merely the latest in a series of such violent attacks perpetrated by the al-Shabaab terrorist group. They have murdered hundreds of Kenyans in churches, on public transport, and perhaps most infamously, in the terrible 2013 massacre at the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.”

Land also addressed the “slow-motion genocide” recently in his daily two-minute radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on 200 stations on the American Family Radio Network and 100 stations on the Bott Radio Network.

“Taken together with the targeting and killing of Christians by Islamist militants in countries such as Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Nigeria, the world is witnessing a slow-motion genocide of Christians in the Middle East. A recent Newsweek cover declared, ‘Targeting Christians in the Middle East, Believers Are Fleeing or Being Killed,’ told the sad, tragic story of ancient Christian communities being brutalized and extinguished by ISIS militants. And this genocide is clearly a growing threat here at home as well.”

Land served as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) from 2001 to 2011, both as a presidential appointee and as a senatorial appointee, and in this position, witnessed the disturbing and rapid increases in religious persecution around the world—much of it focused on Christians.

One reason, Land added, for the increased martyrdom of Christians over the past century is the rapid, unprecedented expansion of Christianity in developing countries, generating significant numbers of Christians in places where historically there have been far fewer believers.

“The civilized world must respond,” Land wrote. “If not, such barbarism will metastasize and the human family will descend into a new abyss of religiously fueled crimes against humanity. The people perpetrating these atrocities must be held accountable and be brought to justice.

“As a matter of conscience and conviction,” he continued, “we must all activate our personal circle of influence and seek to raise the awareness of all we can reach to the horrific suffering of our fellow human beings. We must insist that our elected officials and the world community act to stop this tidal wave of barbarism. And above all, we must pray for our brothers and sisters as though we shared in their sufferings” (Hebrews 13:3).

SES is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. Many courses focus on societal issues from a Christian worldview, delve into scientific apologetics or contemplate creation research.

SES’s 22nd annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics will be hosted by Calvary Church in Charlotte on Oct. 16-17, 2015, with the theme, “Ideas Have Consequences: The Bigger the Idea, the Bigger the Consequence.” In addition to Land, confirmed speakers include Josh McDowell, Dr. Jay Richards, Dr. Hugh Ross, Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. Paige Patterson.

Land is featured in his nationally syndicated daily radio commentary, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which is also podcast daily on the free SES mobile app and airs locally in the Charlotte, N.C., area every weekday. The “Bringing Every Thought Captive” television program, hosted by Land, debuted in this year on the NRB Network and airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and midnight EST. This spring, it began airing on the Total Living Network, reaching nearly 2 million households in the Chicago area. For more information about stations, times, downloads and more, visit www.ses.edu/about-us/betc.

Land has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England and his bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Land also earned a Master of Theology degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the Outstanding Graduating Student. Dr. Land was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council for his leadership on moral and cultural issues. He also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. Land served previously (1988-2013) as president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC’s Research Institute, and in 2015, he was named in the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”

Southern Evangelical Seminary invites visitors to its web site to join the more than 20,000 people who have already downloaded the SES Apologetics App for Windows mobile devices and Android and Apple phones and tablets. Those with the app can get the very best news and information in Christian apologetics, including articles, audio, video, blogs and more from today’s most able defenders of the Christian faith—William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, William Dembski, Frank Turek, Hugh Ross, Gary Habermas and other well-known speakers, authors and teachers.

Southern Evangelical Seminary has been ranked No. 1 for its General Christian Apologetics Graduate Program by TheBestSchools.org’s “Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.” For more information, visit the SES web site at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH.


For information on SES or to set up an interview, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, or Beth Harrison, 610-584-1096Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.

Southern Evangelical Seminary is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. The accredited Christian college and seminary in Matthews, N.C., offers a wide variety of bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. Programs can be completed through residence in the Charlotte area or online. The award-winning education at SES is distinctively Christian and focused on evangelism and world-engaging defense of the Christian faith—Christian Apologetics.