Ever wonder why you don’t hear about religious persecution very often in mainstream news? According to Pierre Houssney of Horizons International, it’s related to compassion fatigue amidst a flood of overlapping crisis narratives.
Horizons is particularly concerned with refugees, who suffer from these problems more than most.
“In the context of this compassion fatigue that happens when media is covering a certain crisis, there is sometimes a distraction,” Houssney explains. “Sometimes the refugee crisis is distracting from other things that are happening that are similar but very different.”
One example is the difference between refugees fleeing from religious persecution and refugees fleeing from violence or economic problems.
“It’s like a mini refugee crisis for them amid a sea of [other] refugees that are going other places,” Houssney says. “When refugee-receiving countries in Europe or the US are flooded with all these cases of refugees that [have been displaced] because of major world events, it’s clouding their vision to be able to see the genuine cases of religious persecution that are happening.”
In other words, with so many issues weighing on aid groups that want to help refugees, it’s hard to determine urgency. Refugees from Syria, Jordan, or Egypt who are “in dire need of getting out of their house and out of their country because they could be killed for their faith” are getting lost among millions of other refugee applications.
When applications don’t get processed, refugees get trapped in “transition countries.” That leaves aid groups like Horizons or local indigenous churches in the difficult position of acting as a last-resort safety net that finds and cares for them.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Alex Anhalt