UPDATE: Secretary of State John Kerry has officially recognized the actions of ISIS to be genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.
The Scriptures attest to the reality that beneath the altar in heaven there is a choir crying out “How long?” That choir of martyrs is growing every day as ISIS carries out genocide against Christians and any other group that gets in the way of its Caliphate in the Middle East. Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq are targeted for death, sexual slavery, displacement, cultural eradication and forced conversion by ISIS. This crisis has received little attention from either Republican or Democrat presidential candidates on the campaign trail, or from the Obama Administration.
For months now, reports have circulated indicating that the State Department will exclude Christians and other religious minorities and only include Yazidis in their forthcoming genocide determination for ISIS. There is no question that ISIS is perpetrating genocide against all the religious minority communities, particularly the Christians who constitute a special threat to the propagation of Islam because they follow Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Concern over this injustice and its ramifications for the other targeted populations has provoked the introduction of a resolution to declare genocide on behalf of all ISIS victims in the U.S. House of Representatives.
We, as Christian leaders from numerous denominations and confessions, call on all of the presidential candidates to seek a morally and legally correct genocide determination and to declare to the world that they will not permit the genocide of Christians and other beleaguered religious minorities by ISIS or any other jihadist terrorist group – even if the media and the debate moderators fail to ask about this important issue.
In addition, we call on our fellow Christians in America to stand up for the persecuted around the world, particularly at such a time as this, for Iraqi and Syrian Christians – descendants of the ancient Assyrian people of the Bible – and not to stand idly by as they are killed. We urge them to contact their U.S. Representatives and their Senators and demand that Congress pass the resolution declaring ISIS’ genocide against these Christians, as well as the Yazidis, Mandaeans, and other religious minorities.
As Christians we must lift our voices not only in songs of praise, but also in solidarity with the voices of the martyrs beneath the throne of God crying out, “How long?” When we face our sisters and brothers who will die today for the name of Jesus, we want to be able to say that we did everything in our power to stand in the way of those that killed them.
The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey, American Anglican Council
Dr. Robert D. Benne
Mrs. Carmen Fowler LaBerge, Presbyterian Lay Committee
Rev. Tom Lambrecht, Good News (United Methodist)
Mr. Lloyd J. Lunceford
Mr. Forrest A. Norman
Mr. Charles Peckham
Anne Paulk, Restored Hope Network
Rev. Kevin Rudolph, Windwood Presbyterian Church
Rev. Paul T. Stallsworth, Lifewatch (United Methodists)
Mr. Mark Tooley, Institute on Religion and Democracy
Pr. Larry M. Vogel, The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
Mr. Perry Wooten, Knox Fellowship