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)

News (Archive-2015)

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 2015

Pope Denounces ‘Deviant Forms of Religion’

Pope Francis condemns religious extremism and calls on Muslim leaders to intervene, a more direct response to the issue than the Vatican has displayed in many years.

World News
The Wall Street Journal

Read the article

Courage, Patience, Victory: an Interview about Christianity in the Middle East

This interview with an Iraqi Christian woman, founder of a non-profit to preserve ancient Middle Eastern culture, paints a sobering and touching picture of the desperate conditions for Christians in northern Iraq. Desperate, but not hopeless, as she resists the notion that they are helpless victims and will never be able to return to their homes.

National Review Online
December 30, 2014

Read the article

February 2015

Is Christianity Doomed in the Middle East?

A look at the history of Christianity’s expansion and contraction in Iraq, and a lament over the loss of its tempering, liberalizing influence in local government, culture, and education.

New Republic
January 30, 2015
By Gerald Russell

The stark cliffs of the Zagros Mountains on the Iran-Iraq border, and the dusty hills and plains that lie between those mountains and the city of Mosul, might seem an unlikely location for paradise. Read the article

Quiet Christian Insurgency in the Middle East

An interesting perspective on how Christians are finding success in the war for Muslim hearts and minds, while the U.S. State Department “fails to show up.”

Breitbart News
12 February 2015
by Katie Gorka

While the U.S. government continues to search for an information campaign that can effectively weaken ISIS and other radical groups, Christians have been waging a surprisingly successful war of ideas against radical Islam.
Read the article

March 2015

Congressman Wolf Fights Christian Persecution in Iraq

Congressman Wolf has launched a non-profit organization to focus attention on international religious freedom, especially the plight of Northern Iraq’s Christians who face extinction by ISIS.

Fox News
20 February 2015
by Lauren Green

Former U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf is frustrated at how religious persecution is thriving in the Middle East while the West seems not to heed his or anyone else's warnings.
Read the article

Use this link to read the Wilberforce report "Edge of Extinction".

Use this link to see a video of "AEI's panel presentation on this tragedy (1:29:00).

April 2015

What the U.S. Can Do to Help Christians in the Middle East

Few organizations today are bold enough to propose a game plan for the plight of Christians in the Middle East. This article covers research on the issues and 10 proposals for U.S. action to address them.

Newsweek
5 April 2015
by BRIAN KATULIS, RUDY DELEON and JOHN CRAIG

Some of the oldest Christian communities in the world are disappearing in the very lands where their faith was born and first took root.
Read the article

Islam’s Improbable Reformer

One of the most powerful Muslim leaders in the world decries Islamic extremism as not ‘the real Islam.’ This wide-ranging interview with the President of Egypt touches on his admiration of American values, Western naiveté in the Middle East, and his demand that Muslim clerics reform the practice of Islam.

Wall Street Journal
20 March 2015
by BRET STEPHENS

We are keen on a strategic relationship with the U.S. above everything else,’ says Egypt’s new president. ‘And we will never turn our backs on you – even if you turn your backs on us.
Read the article

May 2015

Cardinal Dolan: White House not Doing Enough about Christian Persecution

The Hudson Institute recently hosted a conference on the plight of Middle East Christians. Major topics included why the U.S. is doing so little in their defense, how Christians may be caught in the crossfire of a larger battle between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and the options Christians face. Herewith is a selection from the coverage.

Newsmax
12 May 2015
"It's not going to make a difference until you get the American people behind it. They really don't see that there's a genocide going on."
Read the article

The Plight of the Middle East’s Christians

Walter Russell Mead, a distinguished historian and professor, here lays out the historical background of the current wave of Christian persecution by Muslim fanatics. He describes past survival strategies of Middle East Christian communities and how those have failed in our time. He concludes with three hard alternatives he sees now for those communities.

Wall Street Journal
15 May 2015
By WALTER RUSSELL MEAD

Ancient communities in Syria and Iraq are in mortal peril. Can the West find a way to preserve the Christian presence in the Middle East—and stave off a ‘clash of civilizations’?
Read the article

July 2015

Kurdish Forces Drive Out ISIS in Christian Villages

Islamic State terrorists in the Middle East can be defeated. That is one conclusion drawn from recent battles in Syria and Iraq, where Kurdish forces have successfully reclaimed towns and villages previously captured by IS.

Center for Security Policy
1 June 2015
By Caitlin Anglemier

Kurds drive ISIS out of Christian villages in NE part of Syria following 10-day offensive
Read the article

The Assault on Christians, and Hope, in Iraq

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians are trying to adapt to their life as refugees in northern Iraq. In spite of their contributions to Iraqi society historically, though, some are abandoning the camps for safer countries.

By MILES WINDSOR
May 14, 2015 7:18 p.m. ET

As the Islamic State campaign continues, despairing refugees look to start over elsewhere.
Read the article

August 2015

Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?

The New York Times recently published this chilling, comprehensive report on conditions facing Iraqi Christians today. The author notes how American sensitivities have hobbled our response, and even touches on ideas for a permanent solution.

By ELIZA GRISWOLD
JULY 22, 2015
New York Times

Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?

ISIS and other extremist movements across the region are enslaving, killing and uprooting Christians, with no aid in sight.
Read the article

September 2015

Exterminating Christians in the Middle East

This opinion piece draws a parallel between the West’s callousness toward the Nazi extermination of Jews decades ago and its attitude toward Islamic State’s genocide of Middle East Christians today. The article also describes a recent program in Poland for Christian refugees and challenges Americans to do more.

By ROBERT R. REILLY
Aug. 20, 2015 7:19 p.m. ET
The Wall Street Journal

Exterminating Christians in the Middle East

Islamic State marks the houses of Christians with the Arabic letter ‘N’ for Nazarene.
Read the article

October 2015

The Roots of the Migration Crisis

An American scholar discusses the worst refugee crisis for Middle East Christians and Muslims in decades that now engulfs Europe. Examining its origins, he points to the failure of Islamism, as well as moral confusion and institutional paralysis emerging in Europe.

By WALTER RUSSELL MEAD
Sept. 11, 2015 2:16 p.m. ET
The Wall Street Journal

The Roots of the Migration Crisis: The Syrian refugee disaster is a result of the Middle East’s failure to grapple with modernity and Europe’s failure to defend its ideals.
Read the article

November 2015

Christians Gone Within a Decade

If the living conditions and genocide against Middle East Christians continue unabated, driving families to leave their ancestral home, the religion could become extinct there in less than a decade, say two aid groups. Local and Western complacency are to blame.
Fox News
On the brink: Christianity Facing Middle East Purge within Decade, says group
By Perry Chiaramonte
Published November 09, 2015
FoxNews.com

The Christian presence may disappear completely within a decade or even sooner according to a recently released study.
Read the article

Germany Segregating Christians to Protect Them

Middle East Christian families often face horrendous conditions in their home countries and choose to flee. Yet when they arrive in Europe, they can face violence there, too, from the same perpetrators.

Breitbart News
By LIAM DEACON
28 Sep 2015

Christian migrants in German asylum centres are living under persistent threat, with many fearing for their lives as the hardline Sunni majority within the migrant population attempts to enforce Sharia law in their new host nation.
Read the article

December 2015

Dead temples vs. living churches

ISIS is obliterating Christian communities — why aren’t we paying attention? We mourn destruction of artifacts, but the living churches being destroyed are the heart and soul of Christianity.

SALON MAGAZINE
By PHILIP JENKINS
29 Nov 2015
06:00 AM PST

Islamic State has destroyed irreplaceable ancient sites and artifacts across Syria, prompting outrage in much of the Western press. This article asks Where is the outrage over the disappearance of the ancient Christian community there?
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Mideast Christians Deserve U.S. Refuge

Two rabbis argue that Christian refugees are uniquely at risk among those fleeing the Middle East and deserve priority treatment by the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal
By Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein
18 Dec 2015

Hunted by ISIS, afraid to enter refugee camps, they are undercounted and desperate for help.
Read the article

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