Sen. Paul: Taxpayer dollars funding 'war against Christianity in the Middle East'

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pitched a conservative audience on a noninterventionist foreign policy on Thursday, advocating against arming Syrian rebels and warning that American tax dollars are funding "a war against Christianity."

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“It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used to enable a war on Christianity in the Middle East and I believe that must end,” Paul said to a packed luncheon during the three-day Faith and Freedom Conference, an event hosted by the socially conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Paul proposed that foreign aid should be slashed to Egypt, Libya and Pakistan until they meet certain requirements, countries he said are "openly hostile" to Christians.

It's a proposal he's discussed before, but one that's been met with criticism from other members of his party.

On Syria, Paul said he'd continue to oppose arming rebel forces, a position that aligns him with the current status quo and Syrian President  Bashar Assad.

“The Senate is attempting to arm the rebel forces in Syria, many of whom are al Qaeda or affiliates. They do so out of a misguided attempt to stop the violence in Syria,” Paul said. “Instead their actions will bring more violence and more persecution of Christians, who have long been protected in Syria.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted last month 15-3 to arm certain rebel groups, but it's unclear whether the measure would gain traction on the Senate floor.