The more we find out, the worse it gets.
At least 18,802 civilians have been killed in Iraq from January 2014 to October 2015.
At least 36,245 civilians have been wounded during that same time period.
An estimated 3,500 are being held as slaves by ISIS – the Islamic State – in Iraq, most of them women and children.
3.2 million have been displaced.
These staggering numbers were released on Tuesday in a report by the United Nations, which tracked suffering in Iraq since the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) in January 2014, through to October 2015.
The thick report, almost 40 pages, amounted to a painfully detailed account of human suffering: unlawful killings, abductions, bombings, mass graves.
“Even the obscene casualty figures fail to accurately reflect exactly how terribly civilians are suffering in Iraq,” the United Nations human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, said in a statement, which added that “countless others” had died from a lack of access to food, water and medical care.
Reuters included another vital detail from the report, “The Islamist group, which also controls large parts of Syria, is responsible for acts that may ‘amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide’, particularly against minorities, a report said.”
If ever there were any doubt about the goal of ISIS to eradicate Christianity from the region, that doubt should be erased. New satellite photos confirm that ISIS has destroyed the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq. The sacred building stood for over 1,400 years with the Greek letters chi and rho carved in the entrance representing the first two letters of Christ’s name. It is now rubble.
ISIS is trying to extinguish Christianity from the cradle of Christianity.
The label of genocide is reserved for the very worst actions of humanity – the decimation of a people group so as to wipe all traces of their culture and society from the map. And with each passing day, the evidence continues to mount proving that the aim and action of ISIS fits squarely within this definition.
But the Obama Administration refuses to acknowledge this. Why? Because then they’d be responsible under international obligations to do something about it.
But as they bide their time and sit idly by as the evidence against ISIS mounts, Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq face a brutal winter of freezing and starvation. But that’s only if they survive ISIS’s attempts to slaughter them.
Join us in calling for President Obama to do the right thing and declare what ISIS is doing against Christians as genocide.
How many more ancient buildings must be destroyed forever? How many more men, women, and children have to die?
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