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IRD Thanks Rep. Wolf Spotlighting Iraqi Christians' Plight
"The Church is effectively a family, and Christians in the West are obligated to take seriously threats against fellow believers in places like Syria and Iraq." -- IRD President Mark Tooley
 
Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org
 
WASHINGTON, August 6, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Over the past two weeks, U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) has given a series of speeches on the House floor detailing atrocities committed against religious minorities in northern Iraq and insisting that the U.S. Congress and Administration respond.
 
In a letter sent Monday to President Barack Obama, Wolf charges that Christians and other religious minorities have been targeted for extinction by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Among several pointed suggestions, Wolf asks the President to sign legislation approved by the House and Senate to create a special envoy to promote religious freedom in the Middle East, and to provide U.S. assistance and leadership to enable NGOs already on the ground to reach more people.
 
The U.S. Congressman from Virginia is widely considered Congress' leading advocate for global religious liberty.
 
Wolf is joined by U.S. Catholic bishops, who have urged the U.S. government to assist Iraqi Christian victims of persecution from militants of the Islamic State. Officials with the National Council of Churches, the Anglican Church and the Southern Baptist Convention have also spoken out at the mistreatment of minority Christians in Iraq and the forced removal of Christians from ancestral homelands.
 
IRD President Mark Tooley commented:
 
"Wolf's effort to speak up for the voiceless is commendable. The Church is effectively a family, and Christians in the West are obligated to take seriously threats against fellow believers in places like Syria and Iraq.
 
"Wolf's letter to President Obama is especially noteworthy for recalling the failure, and subsequent regret, of President Clinton to adequately respond to events leading up to the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago. We should learn from this mistake.
 
"These threatened minority Christian communities have survived for nearly two thousand years in what is now northern Iraq, persevering despite numerous attacks across the centuries from Muslims, Mongols and Persians. Yet ISIS is poised to do what none of those hostile empires did: wipe out every last trace of Christianity in the region."