Washington, DC – On September 28th IDC Executive Director Kirsten Evans issued the following statement:
“Last week His Holiness Pope Francis summoned the largest gathering of world leaders at the United Nations to a grave examination of conscience on the crisis of religious and ethnically motivated persecution in the Middle East:
‘I must renew my repeated appeals regarding to the painful situation of the entire Middle East, North Africa and other African countries, where Christians, together with other cultural or ethnic groups, and even members of the majority religion who have no desire to be caught up in hatred and folly, have been forced to witness the destruction of their places of worship, their cultural and religious heritage, their houses and property, and have faced the alternative either of fleeing or of paying for their adhesion to good and to peace by their own lives, or by enslavement,’ the Pontiff implored.
This morning, President Barrack Obama restated a call to commitment from the United Nations. Addressing the General Assembly, President Obama called upon the global community’s responsibility to help those “pushed to the margins” by of the violence in Iraq and Syria. ‘Think of the families who have left everything behind, enduring the harsh desert and stormy seas, just to find safe shelter.’ The president pledged the commitment of the United States to increase humanitarian aid, widen the doors of the United States for refugees seeking haven, and to combat extremism in Iraq and Syria, emphasizing ‘There is no room for accommodating an apocalyptic cult like ISIL.’
The voices of these two world leaders embolden the call to action made three weeks ago in the United States Congress with the introduction of the bi-partisan resolution 75 (H. Con. Res. 75), denouncing the genocide being perpetrated against Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria. The resolution was introduced by representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and Jeff Denham (R-CA).
Publicly announced at IDC’s National Leadership Convention ‘Mobilizing America for Christians in the Middle East’ on September 9th, the genocide resolution entreats American lawmakers to officially recognize the mass persecution and extermination of Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities under ISIS as religiously and ethnically motivated genocide, thus leading in an appropriate international response in accordance with the demands of international law. IDC staff and supporters have worked diligently with members of Congress, gaining over 90 Congressional cosponsors to the resolution in just two short weeks. Similar legislation has already begun to emerge in chambers of government around the world, including both Lithuania and Argentina.
As the world faces of one of the largest refugee crises in modern history, flooding out of Iraq and Syria, Christian communities and other religious minorities continue to be ravaged by the violence of extremists under ISIS, targeted for enslavement, rape, exile and even death based merely on religious and ethnic identity. IDC joins its voice with that of Pope Francis and President Obama, calling the international community to conscience in the defense of the thousands of innocent victims of violence and persecution.
Furthermore, IDC continues to mobilize America for Christians in the Middle East. We call upon our members, collaborators, the American people, and US and international lawmakers to officially recognize the targeted persecution of Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities by ISIS as genocide under international law (defined by the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide), thus demanding from the international community the appropriate response of valor and determination at their defense.”