February 25, 2016

Stop the Christian Genocide

The 21 Coptic Christian Martyrs
Members of ISIS prepare to behead twenty-one Coptic Christian Egyptians.
Christians have become victims of religious cleansing in the Middle East and elsewhere. For almost 2000 years, Christians have called Mosul, Iraq home. Today, not one is left. The lack of international response has been shocking. If we don't come to their aid, who will?

55% of Americans agree that the targeting of Christians and other religious minorities by ISIS meets the U.N. definition of genocide. [Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll, 2015] This past December, the Knights of Columbus sent a letter, signed by over twenty Catholic leaders in academia, diplomacy and the Church, to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging the State Department to call ISIS's atrocities against Christians genocide:
The Genocide Convention defines genocide as killing and certain other acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” We have extensive files supporting a finding that ISIS’ treatment of Iraqi and Syrian Christians, as well as Yazidis and other vulnerable minorities, meets this definition. They include evidence of ISIS assassinations of Church leaders; mass murders; torture, kidnapping for ransom in the Christian communities of Iraq and Syria; its sexual enslavement and systematic rape of Christian girls and women; its practices of forcible conversions to Islam; its destruction of churches, monasteries, cemeteries, and Christian artifacts; and its theft of lands and wealth from Christian clergy and laity alike.
To add your voice to those condemning the ongoing Christian genocide by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, go to the Stop the Christian Genocide website and sign the petition. For other ways to help, please visit ChristiansAtRisk.org and Nasarean.org. Our persecuted brothers and sisters in faith face daily intimidation, torture and death for being disciples of Christ. We must assist them any way we can, even if only in prayer. Our prayers are always efficacious no matter how desperate the situation or the fact that God does not always grant our petitions.

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