Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said the Arab Spring and the Muslim campaign against Catholic University are symptoms of a growing anti-Christian climate, and pledged to defend religious freedom around the globe.

Speaking at a South Carolina fundraiser Saturday, Gingrich criticized the Obama administration’s involvement in the Arab Spring – the Middle East grassroots uprising that has overthrown longstanding authoritarian leaders such as Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak – arguing that such involvement is creating an atmosphere of hatred towards Christians.

“People say, ‘Oh isn’t this great, we’re having an Arab Spring,’” he said. “I think we may in fact be having an anti-Christian spring. I think people should take this [assertion] pretty soberly.”

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