Erring on the Genocide
When voters headed to the polls Tuesday, they weren’t just deciding Americans’ fate — but the fate of hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world. As hostile as this administration has been to believers in the U.S., its overseas legacy is worse. Abandoned, displaced, and penniless, the Christians lucky enough to survive ISIS’s rampage have fled to other countries, living in refugee camps where there is just as much uncertainty. Even there, jihadists disguised as refugees are “killing inside the camps, and they’re buying and selling ladies and even girls,” aid workers are reporting.
And while Secretary of State John Kerry insists he shares “a huge sense of revulsion over these acts,” the words are as empty as Iraq’s once-thriving Christian villages. “It’s time for America to act,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) insisted during a congressional hearing with Kerry last week. “We are talking about the lives of tens of thousands of people who are being brutally slaughtered, targeted for genocide.” More than 200 members of Congress understand this. The European Parliament understands this. Even former Secretary Hillary Clinton understands it. Yet a year into this faith-based bloodbath, the president refuses to use the eight simple letters that could help more Christians escape their terror: genocide.
With that one word — a word that’s already been invoked by most of the Western world powers — President Obama could help add weight to the asylum requests of so many who are suffering. And, as the Washington Post points out in this great primer on the “genocide” label, terrorists and terrorist-harboring countries could start being held accountable. “ISIS doesn’t care,” expert Greg Stanton explained, “but they will if their people are starting to come back and get tried for war crimes.”
While the U.S. hashes out a designation that should be a no-brainer, Canon Andrew White told me in a sobering interview on “Washington Watch” that “The Christians have really been forgotten.” (Listen at the 37:30 mark.) From his vantage point in Baghdad, he’s witnessed the horrors first-hand. “It’s real,” he says. But, he laments, “The awareness is minimal… It’s not in the media. Most of the churches don’t even know what’s going on.” Of course, he says, “People will talk about it, but they do nothing about it.” Dr. White, who has seen members of his own church targeted and killed, could only shake his head at a nightmare few Americans could comprehend. “Recently, my people have been massacred when they left Baghdad… They’ve gone to Northern Iraq, and most of them are living in refugee tents and camps in horrendous conditions.”
Where do they go from there? No one knows. The U.N. and other nations have given these families — most of whom have lost everything — no assurance of a permanent home. “There are so many people waiting to immigrate — literally thousands and thousands of people.” And the latest U.S. statistics bear that out. Since the Paris terrorist attack in November, America has admitted 651 Syrian refugees. Three are Christians. Less than one half of one percent. Of the remaining 648,647 are Muslim. How’s that for a religious test? While Christians languish in makeshift camps, often in fear of ISIS or other Muslim radicals, the administration continues to give preferential treatment to every faith except the one our nation was founded on.
And while the pressure on the White House has ratcheted up in recent weeks, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the president is no closer to acting on his supposed “concern” than he was before. “We… know that they target Christians in the area too,” Earnest said. “…That’s one of the many reasons that we’re concerned with [ISIS] and their tactics, which is that it’s an affront to our values as a country to see people attacked, singled out, or slaughtered based on their religious beliefs.” But, the reporter pressed, “You’re not prepared to use the word ‘genocide’ yet in this situation?” Earnest, like Kerry, insisted they were reviewing “legal standards and precedents” — something they’ve had more than a year to do.
Who knows how many Christians are paying for our silence with their lives? Every day that goes by without America’s help is a lost opportunity. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. And pray for our nation, which should always be leading on religious liberty — not following.
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