On Friday a bipartisan delegation sent Rex Tillerson and Nikki Haley a letter warning that ISIS may eradicate Christianity from the Middle East
(VERO BEACH, FLA) The letter included the signature of its author, Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI), and that of Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ); Anna Eshoo (D-CA); Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE); and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
“Christians are at-risk of being wiped away from the lands where they have lived since the first century,” a copy of the letter provided to the Washington Free Beacon reads. “They are entitled to justice as much as the other religious and ethnic minority groups that ISIS targeted for destruction.”
The letter, which was sent to the offices of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, requests an update on what actions the United States has taken to investigate and hold perpetrators accountable for Christian genocide in the Middle East.
“The U.N. must stop waiting for and relying on the government of Iraq to approve prosecuting ISIS perpetrators who committed their crimes in Iraq,” the letter said. “The need for action is urgent.”
The letter quoted the State Departments international religious freedom annual report, which states that less than 250,000 Christians remain in Iraq as of 2016. This is down from an estimated 800,000 to 1,400,000 in 2002, prior to the invasion of Iran, and 500,000 in 2013, after the withdrawal of US troops and the year before ISIS began its genocidal march.
“According to those same reports, in Syria before the conflict began in 2011, Christians were an estimated eight to 10 percent of the 21 million person population and as of 2015 is considerably lower,” the letter said.
The lawmakers did note however their encouragement by President Donald Trump’s comments during the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast, where he said:
“We have seen a campaign of ISIS and genocide against Christians…All nations have a moral obligation to speak out against such violence. All nations have a duty to work together to front it.”
The letter ended with the promise of “strong support” from Congress, in the efforts of both the State Department and the U.S. diplomatic mission to the United Nations, to ensure that “ISIS perpetrators are investigated, tried, and convicted for the genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes they have committed.”
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