Politics

One Word Noticeably Absent As Trump, Obama, Hillary And 2020 Democrats Respond To Sri Lanka Attacks

REUTERS/Mike Segar

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor

More than 200 people were murdered on Easter Sunday as a series of coordinated attacks were executed against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. As statements condemning the attacks poured in, one word was notably missing from many of them.

Former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and nearly all of the 2020 Democratic hopefuls tweeted in response to the attacks, and although at least some of the bombings specifically targeted Christians on the holiest day of the year — Easter Sunday — hardly any of their tweets mentioned Christianity. (RELATED: Fearing ‘Unrest,’ UK Reportedly Denies Asylum To Christian Woman Asia Bibi)

It wasn’t long before some people noticed the disparity.

When the Democratic 2020 hopefuls began to weigh in on the attack, many of them took the same approach. (RELATED: ‘A River Of Blood’: Coordinated Church Bombings Leave More Than 200 Dead In Sri Lanka)

Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Reps. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Tim Ryan of Ohio also followed suit.

Even President Donald Trump, after correcting a mistaken tweet Sunday that claimed 138 million had died in Sri Lanka, recognized the victims without noting that they were Christians.

Former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang were among the few who actually used the term “Christian” in their statements.

Vice President Mike Pence also condemned the attack, saying, “This atrocity is an attack on Christianity & religious freedom everywhere.”

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took it a step further, saying, “These terrorist attacks are a stark reminder that Christians remain the most persecuted and targeted religious group in the world, and that we must redouble our efforts to combat religious persecution.”

What struck many as interesting, however, was not just the omission of the word “Christian” in so many responses, but how different those responses were when mosques were attacked in Christchurch, New Zealand just weeks ago.

In addition to recognizing the fact that it was Muslims who were targeted in New Zealand, several commented on the need to curb the “rising tide of white supremacy and Islamophobia.”

The latest estimates put the death toll in Sri Lanka at approximately 290.

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