Late in 2010, it seemed a pair of brutal terror assaults on Christian congregations in Egypt and Iraq had finally brought the plight of the Middle East’s embattled Christian minorities to the fore, at least to the point where Western leaders could no longer ignore this abysmal problem.

An al-Qaida cell’s shocking raid on a Baghdad cathedral in late October had murdered 44 Christian worshipers, two priests and seven Iraqi security personnel. Then on New Year’s Day, 2011, a powerful car bombing targeted a Coptic church in Alexandria, killing 23 parishioners and wounding nearly 100 just as they were finishing midnight Mass.

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