Persecution Article

Ad campaign urges lawmakers to support legislation guaranteeing relief funds for Mideast Christian refugees

On Jun 06, 2017 06:08 PM EDT
Iraq campaign

The Knights of Columbus unveiled the new television advertisement to warn the world about the looming extinction of Christianity in the Middle East if no action will be taken to fight persecution. The group is now calling on lawmakers to support the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act to secure the relief funds needed by Christians who have been victimized by the Islamic State's atrocities and acts of genocide, Town Hall details.

Although the U.S. State Department had already announced that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, the United States and the U.N. still has not complied with the required immediate action from them. Based on the 1948 U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, high risk religious populations should be prioritized in the allocation of aid.

The warning from the Knights of Columbus comes in the wake of ISIS' bus attack that targeted Coptic Christians in Egypt last week. The incident, which left 29 dead, was the latest in the string of deadly attacks against Christians in the country.

"We must act and act quickly if Christianity is to survive in the Middle East," said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson in a statement. "Three years after ISIS rolled through their country, these minority communities of Christians could face extinction without our help, and if they disappear, the chance for a pluralism and tolerance of minorities will be increasingly lost in that country."

In an interview with the Catholic News Agency last month, Anderson said it was the first time in almost 2,000 years that the possibility of Christianity being wiped from the face of Iraq has surfaced. He teased back then that the Knights of Columbus would launch a new initiative that will help stabilize the Christian communities in the region.

Anderson expressed hope that ISIS' goal of eradicating Christianity from the Middle East will be blocked. He also highlighted the importance of the participation of the U.S. and the Vatican in efforts to ensure the survival of Christians in the region



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