Institute on Religion & Democracy Press Release
November 1, 2017
Contact: Jeff Walton, Office: 202-682-4131, Cell: 202-413-5639, E-mail: jwalton@TheIRD.org
“Minority communities brutalized by ISIS need help as they try to rebuild their lives instead of just trying to survive from day to day.”
-IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith J.H. McDonnell
Washington, DC—As the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church approaches on Sunday, November 5, the Institute on Religion & Democracy is calling for U.S. Christians to pray for their fellow believers that are persecuted, and to take action.
American Christians can encourage their members of Congress to support H.R. 390, the “Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017”.
The act would make it U.S. policy “to ensure that humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery assistance for nationals and residents of Iraq or Syria, and of communities from those countries, is directed toward ethnic and minority individuals and communities with the greatest need, including those individuals and communities that are at risk of persecution or war crimes.” It would also seek to bring the perpetrators of genocide to justice.
H.R. 390 passed in the House this past June, but now it is languishing in the Senate after being passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry designated ISIS crimes as genocide, identifying by name Yazidis, Christians, and other minority groups targeted for extermination by jihadists.
Vice President Mike Pence recently announced at the In Defense of Christians (IDC) conference banquet that the U.S. would direct more aid for Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities targeted by ISIS directly through USAID.
IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith J.H. McDonnell commented:
“Christians, along with Yazidis and other minorities, have received little aid and protection, in spite of the fact that it is because of their religious affiliation that they are victims of genocide.
“Minority communities brutalized by ISIS need help as they try to rebuild their lives instead of just trying to survive from day to day. When their displacement took place, they did not get much assistance from either the United Nations or USAID in surviving either. It was small, faith-based organizations helping local religious communities that kept them alive.
“H.R. 390 is needed because it includes provisions on security and on bringing perpetrators to justice, not just on humanitarian aid.”Google+