There is still a mass humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. Christians in Iraq are in grave danger. The International community can no longer turn a blind eye.
We’ve once again taken direct action at the U.N. to defend the lives of persecuted Christians in the Middle East. We presented a critical oral intervention at the U.N. demanding the world acknowledge and take action against the genocide that has devastated Christians.
Just recently, we told you that we delivered a critical written legal submission at the U.N. Human Rights Council demanding international action against the genocide of Christians. Our submission stressed it is imperative that the world’s leaders specifically acknowledge these atrocities as genocide:
A declaration of genocide is necessary because it opens up avenues of aid that are otherwise unavailable to the victims of the ISIS genocide and the U.N. can begin to take the steps necessary to halt the genocide and fulfil its responsibility to protect the victims.
Now that ISIS controlled areas are being liberated, Iraqi Christians have begun to return home to northern Iraq only to have to turn around and leave once again because of continued conflict in the area or other reasons.
Now we have returned to the U.N. through our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), and delivered a vital oral intervention at the U.N. Human Rights Council for these Christians in crisis demanding the world not just acknowledge, but take swift action against the genocide of Christians.
We’re telling the heartbreaking stories of Christian tragedy and human rights violations in Iraq. We’re showing them why “nearly 90% of Christians have fled” the region.
Christians have been barbarically slaughtered, tortured, and denied critical aid. As one young survivor bluntly put it, "We cried to the U.N. . . . but nobody came to help us. Today, the village is surrounded by mass graves."
It is our moral obligation to act in defense of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. We're expanding our Persecution Project to protect these Christians.
We recently told you how the United States has pledged more humanitarian aid to the victims of genocide in Iraq. In his address to the Director of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Agency for International Development, Mark Green, echoed our calls for more assistance to Iraqi Christians:
Northern Iraq was once home to large communities of Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities. Many of them have fled their homes or fled their country altogether in the face of violence and threats of violence. We are committed to helping create the conditions for those communities to return safely to their ancestral lands. Under the President's leadership, we've already channeled tens of millions of dollars to the region; however, we know the need is far greater, and we must do more to meet the urgent needs of these endangered communities.
As we’ve reported, Great Britain has also pledged substantial financial humanitarian aid for Christians to return to their homes and rebuild these once historic communities that have been decimated or abandoned as a result of the ISIS genocide. But our two great nations cannot shoulder the burden alone. This tragedy requires the international community to join together to offer adequate relief as well as protection.
Our presentation told the stories of Christian tragedy, forcing the world to listen, and urging them – as is their responsibility – to take immediate action:
ISIS’s systematic pattern of widespread murder and sexual abuse has forced thousands of Christians – according to recent reports, “nearly 90% of Christians” – to flee from Iraq. The acts that have led to the nearly wholesale destruction of Christians as a group in the region include massive deportations, widespread killings, and countless rapes may be construed as steps in the process of “gradual weakening of the population” that will result in the religious cleansing of all Christians from ISIS controlled territories.
The victims are still suffering, and while ISIS is now on the run, the damage that has resulted from the ISIS genocide has created a massive humanitarian crisis. In order to provide for the lasting resettlement of Christians and other ethnic minorities there are two actions that the U.N. must take immediately.
The U.N. must swiftly act to defend the rights of all religious minorities, including the Christians in Iraq, Syria, and any other places where ISIS has been engaging in genocide. The very mission of this organization requires nothing less.
We therefore urge the U.N. to declare these atrocities as acts of genocide and to assist those seeking to return home and facilitate the ultimate and lasting resettlement of the victims of ISIS’s atrocities, including those who survive the genocide. Furthermore, we ask that a U.N. Special Adviser be appointed without further delay for the collection and preservation of evidence of genocide, per U.N. Security Resolution 2379.
It is time for the members of the U.N. to recognize this brutal genocide against Christians and the aftermath it has left. ISIS is weakened and on the run, but danger still exists. Christians returning home need protection. They need infrastructure. The more than $60 million dollars in aid the U.S. has already sent to the region was used to rebuild schools, hospitals, wells, and even power stations to help these victims rebuild their communities. Without it, their future looks bleak.
As we previously explained, our work at the U.N. – and especially the U.N. Human Rights Council – is now more important than ever. We may be these persecuted Christians’ only voice to the world.
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