When people think of the European Union or Council of Europe, the word “conservative” doesn’t usually come to mind. And yet, they certainly seem so next to President Obama’s one-sided view of religious persecution. While the rest of the West decries the violence directed toward Christians in the Middle East, the White House still stubbornly refuses to call it what it is: faith-based genocide.
Yesterday, our neighbors across the Atlantic widened the gulf between the U.S. and the world by passing a resolution (117-1) about the atrocities taking place against Christians in the Middle East. The measure, “Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq,” lays an important framework for a similar vote in the European Parliament next week. For now, a committee of the Council of Europe has signed on to a key document condemning ISIS’s religious targeting.
Radical Islamists, the group agreed, have “perpetrated acts of genocide and other serious crimes punishable under international law.” The Assembly goes on to remind the world that “under international law States have a positive obligation to prevent genocide, and thus should do their utmost to prevent their own nationals from taking part in such acts… The Assembly calls on member, observer and partner for democracy States to: fulfil their positive obligations under the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide by taking all necessary measures to prevent genocide.”
Among many of its points, members demand that ISIS and other terrorists “should under no circumstances be granted refugee status.” Pointing to the Paris attacks, the group warns that opening the world’s borders to “an unprecedented wave of arrivals and migrants” puts countries at serious risk.
Our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom have also been monitoring the crisis, which continues to gain steam in the international community — to the frustration of voters here at home.
Christians in the Middle East urgently need this recognition to wake up the world to what is going on. In contrast to other diplomatic notions such as ‘systematic mass murder,’ ‘genocide’ is an internationally recognized legal term. It is necessary to call for further steps, such as a resolution at the U.N. Security Council and a referral to the International Criminal Court.
Together with organizations on both sides, FRC continues to call for the president’s intervention on the plight of Christians overseas. That starts with the simplest of admissions — which is that men and women are being targeted, tortured, and killed simply for following Jesus. As even liberals like Hillary Clinton sense the shift, it’s time for President Obama to stop leading from behind and do the same.
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