Why In Defense of Christians?The name “In Defense of Christians” was inspired by an open letter from human rights activist Armin Wegner to Adolf Hitler in 1933 entitled, “In Defense of the Jews.” In this letter, Wegner publicly condemned Hitler and the Nazis:
“I have both the right and the duty to appeal to you, for my heart is seething with indignation, and I was not endowed with the gift of speech merely to make myself an accomplice by remaining silent. The Jews have survived captivity in Babylon, slavery in Egypt, the Inquisition in Spain, the oppression of the crusades and sixteen hundred pogroms in Russia. The resilience that has enabled this people to survive to the present day will also enable them to overcome this threat. But the opprobrium and ignominy, which now adhere to Germany as a result of this, will not be forgotten for a long time! … Though all prefer today to stand mute, I for one can no longer.”Two decades earlier, in 1915, serving as a German officer in Turkey during World War I, Wegner documented the genocide of one million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Wegner’s photographs are some of the only to have documented the incident. His work to stop the Armenian Genocide would fail, just as his calls to prevent the Holocaust. Nevertheless, Wegner committed his life to the defense of vulnerable minorities. Wegner’s heroism was humble and even to this day his name is not widely known. It is with this example and in this spirit of humility that IDC seeks to serve Christians and all who suffer oppression at the hands of those who would deny them the freedom of religion, or even their lives. “In Defense of Christians,” like “In Defense of the Jews,” may be understood to mean the defense of all human beings and their fundamental human rights, and the protection of human dignity.