Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) has been speaking out on the floor of the House against the genocide of Christians and other minority groups in Iraq. He’s been asking the question, “Is anyone listening?”
For several weeks, Wolf has made a series of speeches calling out President Obama on his silence against the oppression of Christians by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Rep. Wolf has been an outspoken voice for religious liberty for many years. Recently, he wrote a letter to President Obama calling out the failure of Obama and his administration to act. He writes, “Mr. President, you and your administration have failed. You, Secretary of State Kerry and Ambassador Power all need to speak out…Time is running out. How many more people must be killed for you to acknowledge this situation?”
Last Thursday, President Obama finally broke his silence when he announced humanitarian aid would be sent to the thousands of Christians besieged by Iraqi militants. However, Wolf is calling for more action to be taken.
There are a number of steps you can take right now that would make a difference; steps that don’t require new funds or additional congressional action. Among them:
• You can sign the bipartisan legislation approved by the House and Senate to create a special envoy to promote religious freedom in the Middle East that has been sitting on your desk for the last week. It is just waiting for your signature. You can name someone to fill this post who can immediately deploy to the region to work with the Kurdish and Iraqi governments;
• You can appoint a senior official in your administration to be the lead person coordinating all of the U.S. government resources necessary to stop this genocide;
• You can publicly thank the Kurdish authorities for protecting the Christians and other religious minorities who have fled ISIS and found refuge in the Kurdish region;
• You can work with trusted NGOs – like Catholic Relief Service, Save the Children, UNICEF and others – who are already on the ground trying to help, but need U.S. assistance and leadership to reach more people. You can make sure they have the food, water, housing and medical resources to help the victims of this genocide;
• You can direct the Secretary of State and USAID administrator to reprogram existing funds to provide these resources to trusted NGOs on the ground.”
Wolf concludes his letter with a final plea, “You and your administration must take action now, before the damage is irreversible. Please speak out for the voiceless.”
In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who stood up to the evil Nazi regime, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
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