Expressing the sense of Congress that those who commit or support atrocities against Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities, including Yezidis, Turkmen, Sabea-Mandeans, Kaka‘e, and Kurds, and who target them specifically for ethnic or religious reasons, are committing, and are hereby declared to be committing, ‘‘war crimes’’, ‘‘crimes against humanity’’, and ‘‘genocide’’.
(Voice of the Persecuted) On Monday night, the House voted to pass a resolution declaring the Islamic State to be committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. The resolution passed 383-0, which many are calling a miracle! To all who have prayed, Thank you.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement on House passage of H. Con. Res. 121 and H. Con. Res. 75, which condemn the atrocities committed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and ISIS:
“What is happening in Iraq and Syria is a deliberate, systematic targeting of religious and ethnic minorities. Today, the House unanimously voted to call ISIS’s atrocities what they are: a genocide. We also will continue to offer our prayers for the persecuted.”
Christians are also severely persecuted by ISIS and other Islamic radicals globally. They have been on a religious cleansing mission to eradicate Christianity in their quest for a purely Islamic Empire, ‘Caliphate’. In June 2014, The city of Mosul had fallen under the control of the jihadists. Then, the call for Christians to leave rang out through loudspeakers in the city. The reason, the bishops rejected conditions being forced by ISIS to dictate terms to the Christians. The jihadists gave them an ultimatum, ‘Convert to Islam, pay an expensive religious tax (jizyah) or die’. The Arabic letter “N” for Nasrani (Christians) was marked on the doors of their houses to show they had seized the property belonging to the Islamic state. The Christians were told, “There is no place for Christians in the Islamic state”. An exodus began and in 24 hours 100,000 Christians to fled from Mosul. Almost two months later, the jihadi militias conquered many cities and villages in the Nineveh Plain, causing the flight of tens of thousands of Christians.
Last year, the Obama administration considered a declaration accusing ISIS of genocide against the Yazidis, Iraqi religious minorities who have faced extreme persecution at the hands of ISIS. Stories of the Yazidis being slaughtered went viral when they were trapped by ISIS on Mount Sinjar in August 2014.
It was mind boggling that Christians were being excluded from its potential designation of ISIS genocide victims, and only including the Iraqi religious minority Yazidis. U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House congressional panel that oversees global human rights issues, was “shocked and dismayed“ at their exclusion.
“ISIS has also committed genocide against Christians,” Smith said. “They have been systematically targeted for murder, torture, rape, displacement – extermination – the President should acknowledge this. I am shocked and dismayed that President would even think to exclude the present day genocide of Christians.”
Pope Francis had stated “Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus. This too needs to be denounced: in this third world war, waged peacemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide – I insist on the word – is taking place, and it must end.”
“Ignoring Christians, and the full range of religious and ethnic groups who have been victims of the ISIS genocide, would continue the President’s policy of silence and weak response,” Smith said. “When will the President actually implement his own Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities and National Security Strategy?”
Christians have lived in Iraq for two millennia but are feared to become extinct in the near future. Report after horrifying report has surfaced of Christians who were beheaded, kidnapped and raped, even crucified or burned alive solely for their faith in Christ.
Many religious leaders also warned of the dangers of ignoring religious persecution, even Rabbi Adlerstein said,
“Too many of us thought that forced conversions and expulsions of entire religious communities were part of a distant, medieval past,” he said. “There was little that we could do to stop this horrible episode.
“It is not too late to realize that many others – Christians today, but certainly Jews, Baha’i, Hindus, Muslims and others – are mortally endangered by a potent religious fanaticism that threatens tens of millions, and which still can be resisted.”
The Obama Administration have long been pressured to recognize genocide against Christians, but the State Department has dragged out their so-called study as if there isn’t already enough proof.
Secretary of State John Kerry recently told Congress that the department was studying the situation to be sure it met legal requirements for declaring actions to be genocidal. Congress set a deadline for the Obama administration to make the determination on genocide by tomorrow, March 17.
Co-sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry said, “this trans-partisan resolution will further compel the State Department to join the building international consensus in calling the horrific ISIS violence against Christians, Yezidis, and others by its proper name: ‘GENOCIDE’.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins commented:
“I commend the House for unanimously voting to declare ISIS’ atrocities against Christians and others as genocide. While condemning and stopping ISIS’ bloody rampage against Christians and other religious minorities is a priority for the House of Representatives and most of the Western world, including the European Parliament, it has unfortunately not been a priority for the Obama administration.
“President Obama keeps talking about ‘rising above ideology and partisanship.’ Maybe it’s time he took his own advice. More than 200 Democrats and Republicans cosponsored this House resolution addressing an issue it shouldn’t have to: the genocide in the Middle East. If the Obama administration were as ‘appalled,’ ‘horrified,’ and ‘concerned’ about the annihilation of Christians as the White House says it is, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebr.) wouldn’t have had to take the unusual step of addressing the crisis before the president does so.
“America has lost its chance to take the lead against ISIS. But regardless of the timing, our national security, vital interests, and essential values demand that we act. While the word ‘genocide’ alone won’t stop the suffering, it will certainly go a long way to sparking a series of mostly non-military actions that can bring help and hope to our Christian brothers and sisters who are suffering for nothing more than being identified as followers of Jesus Christ.
“Every day that goes by without America’s help is a lost opportunity.
“Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in ISIS territory. And pray for our nation, which should always be leading on religious liberty — not following.”
During last week’s press breifing with Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked:
Q Okay, and another question. This came up yesterday in regards to the State Department’s pending decision on whether to declare genocide with regard to ISIS. The European parliament has already made its decision, based largely on the same Genocide Convention that the U.N. approved in 1948, and the U.S. is a party to, with 147 nations. I want to ask, if the U.S., if they make a decision not to call it a genocide, it would almost be an outlier in making that decision. Do you think there would be some international outrage if the U.S. decides not to call it a genocide?
MR. EARNEST: Well, Fred, because there’s an ongoing process to take a close look at this, and because State Department attorneys understand how important this issue is, I don’t want to say anything that presupposes an outcome one way or the other. What I can tell you is that this is something that the State Department is continuing to look at, but it certainly has not in any way delayed the administration from taking aggressive action to protect religious minorities that are being targeted by ISIL, including Christians that we know are being targeted by ISIL in that region of the world. So the determination is important, and the process for reaching that determination is ongoing, but it certainly is not going to have any impact on the ability of the United States military or the willingness of the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces to order military action against ISIL to try to protect religious minorities in that region of the world.
Q In that sense of it, do you think it doesn’t matter necessarily, from the U.S. perspective, what it’s called as long as the U.S. is taking the same action either way?
MR. EARNEST: Well, these kinds of issues are quite serious, both from a moral perspective but also from a policy perspective. And that’s why the State Department has been so diligent in doing the necessary work to reach this determination. But when it comes to the kinds of steps that are necessary to try to protect religious minorities and ultimately to degrade and ultimately destroy a terrorist organization that targets religious minorities, I think the President’s willingness to use military force against those terrorists has been unsparing and that will continue.
Last week, the Knights of Columbus (K of C) and In Defense of Christians (IDC) presented a report to the State Department. It is the largest compilation of what has happened to Christians in the path of ISIS and irrefutable evidence of genocide against Christians by ISIS. Read the report here.
Many Christians refugees are running out of safe places to go. They’re even being persecuted at refugee centers in Europe. Where, when and how does this end? As their brothers and sisters, when will we speak out in solidarity with our suffering brethren and do more about it? In a nation with a population of 75% Christians, certainly our leaders will have no choice but to hear our resounding cries. For those paying attention, it is plainly obvious intervention for the protection of persecuted Christians globally is absolutely necessary and cannot be ignored. As the Daesh (ISIS) told the Christians in Mosul, “There is no place for Christians in the Islamic state”.
We at Voice of the Persecuted believe that as a direct result of U.S. involvement in the Middle East and other regions, Christians have now found themselves homeless. Trapped in countries where they will continue to be hunted down, we can either help them to have secure areas within their homeland, or offer them a safe haven within our own. Many persecuted Christians from across the globe are facing worse or similar persecution in nations within which they are again a minority. Despite their effort to escape intolerance, they are simply introduced to nothing more than a geographical change. We highly support the notion of allowing them a special exception for refugee status in the USA. This is not about a religious test, nor a form of discrimination towards Muslims. It’s about saving the lives of those who face extinction in Islamic countries. Our brothers, sisters and their children who are brutally killed and abused for nothing more than their faith in Jesus Christ. The One who came to save the world, our precious Lord and Savior.
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Until this country recognizes the modern-day genocide taking place against Christians, serious intervention on their behalf will not take place. We ask that you pray for the softening of our leaders hearts towards the extreme suffering of Christians in the Middle East. That they will do the right thing and call it what it is, GENOCIDE. We ask that you also pray for the leaders of restricted nations and those who persecute our Christian brothers and sisters. May they too have a softening of heart and come to know our Lord, Jesus Christ. Why have we not mentioned persecuted Christians suffering equally in other parts of the world? We’ll start with this vote and ask for their inclusion later. It must begin somewhere.
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