In addition to its patented persecuted Christian narrative, Fox News is heavily invested in fomenting fear of "radical Islam." On this morning's Fox & Friends, data from a study on worldwide persecution of Christians was distorted in order to combine both memes in a brilliant propaganda twofer!
The Fox & Friends "headline" segment began with cohost Pete Hegseth reporting that "a new study shows Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world." Worth noting is the fact that this information is now making the rounds of Christian and right-wing, Christian-defending websites such as Breitbart, Newsbusters, and The Blaze.
Hegseth explained that, "The Center for Studies of New Religions says more that 90,000 Christians were killed in 2016 alone" and that "30% of them were at the hands of radical Islamist terrorists." The visual backdrop was a great, big 30% over the words "Christians killed by terrorists in 2016." He noted that a "full report" will be released, next month, by the Italian research group responsible for the data.
In wrapping up the propaganda with a nice bow, Hegseth commented, "Wow, powerful numbers."
The data is from the director of the Center for Studies of New Religions, Dr. Massimo Introvigne, who was interviewed by Vatican Radio. According to the Christian Post, Dr. Introvigne says, "70 percent of the Christians killed this year were slain in tribal conflicts in Africa. The other 30 percent was killed in terror attacks, government persecution and attacks on Christian villages across the globe."
Unmentioned by Fox & Friends is Dr. Massimo's contention that "the number of Christians killed for their faith outside of Africa is similar to the number of Muslims killed for their faith" and that "just as many Muslims are killing other Muslims." Also unmentioned was that the number of 2016 deaths has declined from 2015's total of 105,000.
Even Newsbusters, not known for their objectivity, reports that “the other 30 per cent, or 27,000, were killed in terror attacks, the destruction of Christian villages, or government persecution" - a statement that dovetails with Dr. Introvigne's words from the Vatican Radio transcript: "The other 30 percent, or 27,000, comes instead from terrorist attacks, destruction of Christian villages, governmental persecution, as in the case of North Korea." (Not a hotbed of radical Islam!)
Fox & Friends neglects to mention that 70% of the deaths were from African tribal conflicts. They also claim that the remaining 30% of the deaths were caused by "radical Islamist terrorism" when, according to Dr. Introvigne, it is only a part. But if you're pushing a propaganda meme (radical Islamist and persecuted Christians), who needs facts?
Fox News - Fair & Balanced & Fake?
Watch today's Fox & Friends fake news below.
Correction: This post originally named Clayton Morris as the host speaking in the video below.
The history of Christianity is full of hostility between denominations and many more Christians were killed during the wars between Christian nations than has yet occurred in battles with other religions. Although the mainstream churches of Christianity may be trying to establish mutually respectful relations, each and every side is trusting in an eventual victory of its own version. I somehow doubt that any of them would accept certain parts of the Yasidi faith, i.e. the community that has reportedly suffered the most under ISIS.
The history of Christianity is full of inter-denominational hostility but other religions do the same. Religion is a very dangerous weapon, indeed.