With Genocide, Words Are Not Enough

Last year, former Secretary of State Kerry declared that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities, however the Administration fell short on necessary follow through. Today, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House panel on global human rights, urged the new Trump Administration to step in and close the gap created by its predecessor.

Even after acknowledging the genocide, the previous Administration refused to support criminal investigations of perpetrators,” said Smith, author of the bipartisan Iraq and Syria Emergency Genocide Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390).Staff from non-governmental organizations are risking their lives to conduct these investigations. Without our help, evidence that can be used in trials will be lost. Proving these perpetrators are criminals—murderers, child abusers, rapists, slavers, drug dealers and more—will support our efforts to combat support for terrorist groups like ISIS.”

Smith, along with Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-07), Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), today sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, requesting an update on actions the U.S. has taken to investigate and hold accountable perpetrators, urging the U.S. to take the lead on related efforts at the U.N. and emphasizing the need to seek justice for all the victims, including Christians. Click Here to Read the Letter.

President Trump personally committed his Administration to confronting the genocide that ISIS has been committing against Christians and other religious minorities,” said Smith. “Only a few months ago, I met with Christian survivors in Iraq and saw that aid and action is needed, and needed right now. For the previous three years, the United States had abandoned these and the other survivors from religious and ethnic minorities. H.R. 390 is a blueprint for making sure these genocide victims finally get aid from the U.S. and perpetrators are punished.”

At the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump stated “We have seen a campaign of ISIS and genocide against Christians…All nations have a moral obligation to speak out against such violence. All nations have a duty to work together to confront it.”

Smith’s legislation, co-led by Eshoo, will direct the U.S. government to:

  • Identify threats of persecution and other early warning indicators of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes against Iraqi and Syrian religious or ethnic minorities that ISIS targeted for these crimes, or against other religious or ethnic minorities that are persecuted.
  • Provide humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery assistance to these communities, through entities that are effectively assisting them, including faith-based entities.
  • Support criminal investigations of perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes in Iraq, specifically ones collecting evidence that can be used in criminal trials.
  • Review U.S. relevant law and recommend how to close statutory gaps in being able to prosecute in the U.S. American citizens, or foreign nationals who come to the U.S., who have committed these crimes abroad.

The legislation is supported by more than 20 groups, including the Knights of Columbus, Family Research Council, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (Southern Baptist Convention), 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, In Defense of Christians, ADF International, Baylor University, Open Doors, Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Business Alliance, A Demand for Action, Yezidi Human Rights Organization International, Religious Freedom Institute, Center for Religious Freedom (Hudson Institute), Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Community of Sant’Egidio, International Christian Concern and the Religious Freedom Coalition.

It is also supported by all the former US Ambassadors-at Large for War Crimes, David Scheffer (1997-2001), Pierre Prosper (2001-2005), Clint Williamson (2006-2009) and Stephen Rapp (2009-2015), as well as the Founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, David Crane; Director of the Center for Religious Freedom Nina Shea; and the author of Defying ISIS, Rev. Johnnie Moore.

Smith added, “Any legitimate effort to prosecute ISIS for genocide must follow the evidence and include crimes against Christian victims. I urge the Administration to ensure that international prosecution initiatives recognize the genocide against Christians and thereby ensure justice for all victims.”

Smith has held nine related Congressional hearings since 2013 and last December led a mission to Erbil (Kurdistan Region of Iraq) at the invitation of the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Warda, to see first-hand the plight of the 70,000 Christians – almost 1/3 of Christians remaining in Iraq – who escaped ISIS and have been sustained by the Archdiocese of Erbil with support from organizations like the Knights of Columbus and without any support so far from the U.S..

[su_button url=”https://www.faxcongress.com/Stop-Genocide-of-Christians-Now-MTE3NQ%3D%3D.html/”]Sign here to stop the genocide of Christians now![/su_button]

Iraq 101: Christians and Other Religious Minorities

The latest in Clarion’s series explaining the situation in Iraq. This time a look at the religious groupings with a focus on the Christians.

The Diapers for Refugees program is preparing for the first diaper delivery of 2017 in March. The aim of the Diapers for Refugees program is to provide 160,000 disposable diapers every three months to displaced Christian families living in refugee camps.

These families have little-to-no access to soap and warm water to clean cloth diapers. Because of this, diseases spread quickly and families across these camps are dying from diaper rash and they need our help.

To find out more about the Diapers for Refugees program, click here.

Gearing Up For Our First Delivery of 2017

The Diapers for Refugees program is preparing for the first diaper delivery of 2017 in March. The aim of the Diapers for Refugees program is to provide 160,000 disposable diapers every three months to displaced Christian families living in refugee camps.

These families have little-to-no access to soap and warm water to clean cloth diapers. Because of this, diseases spread quickly and families across these camps are dying from diaper rash and they need our help.

Diaper shipments are distributed by large truckloads to refugee camps across northern Iraq. The cost of a single shipment of diapers ranges from $18,000- $20,000, roughly, 11 cents per diaper. Each shipment helps over 300 Christian refugee families in Iraq.

In 2017, with your help, the Diapers for Refugee program plans to delivers 640,000 diapers to our Christian brothers and sisters suffering in the Middle East.

Until March, any donation made to the Diapers for Refugees program will receive a Nazerene pin as a free gift.

On this pin is the Arabic letter pronounced “nun,” and it is this letter that the genocidal Muslims of the Islamic State (ISIL) use to mark Christian homes, businesses, and properties for destruction or confiscation  – much like the Nazis used a yellow Star of David to mark the Jews.

“Nun” is the 14th letter of the Arabic alphabet (the equivalent of the letter N in our Roman alphabet), and is the first letter of the word Nasara (Nazarenes), which is what Muslims have called Christians since the beginning of their invasion of the Christian world in the seventh century. Christians under Muslim rule have never called themselves Nasara, since the intent of Muslims using this term was to portray Christians as a contemptible and disobedient sect.

For centuries Muslims have used the “nun” letter to mark Christians and their property, just as is done today by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Christians must no longer be singled out by the terrorists of Mohammed! By wearing this symbol, you are helping to express outrage and demanding that this madness be stopped!

To radical Muslims, this “nun” symbol means Christian genocide, but to us, it symbolizes hope for the future and a call to remember those who are suffering unjustly.

For Christians in the United States, this Arabic letter which is used to mark Christian homes and business must become a symbol of solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Christians who by the hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes to escape Islamic terror.

Learn how you can help.

What Christians are Finding In the Nineveh Plain

Christians who are now returning to their homes in areas of the Nineveh Plains liberated from the Islamic State’s control are finding chaos and destruction.

Church ruins in Qaraqosh

Church ruins in Qaraqosh

Sister Diana Momeka, a nun with the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena, ministers to those who have been displaced by ISIS: “(When) we went to see what happened to our hometowns, we could not believe the hatred and the revenge that ISIS has against us.”

After ISIS took control of the Nineveh Plain and other parts of Northern Iraq in 2014, thousands of Christians fled to Iraqi Kurdistan and lived in temporary housing that was usually unfit for the cold winter seasons. Many of these refugees had to rely on aid groups for their basic needs.

Towns in the Nineveh Plain were recently liberated from ISIS but left in ruins. Catholic News Agency reports: “Evidence of ISIS’s hatred and revenge was everywhere in the destruction of their homes. Graffitti on the walls of churches made threats like ‘we’re going to break your crosses’ and ‘you have no place with us.’”

“It’s a total mess… There was some hope to have a future… we feel that there’s no future left for the Christians. It’s kind of a sign for us, ‘you should leave, we’ve destroyed everything you have.’… We discovered so many of our documents and belongings at [our neighbor’s] places” said Diana.

Catholic News Agency reports:

“Many residents still face the struggle of rebuilding their homes and villages, reconciling with their neighbors, and establishing security. It is a race against time to rebuild their homes before everyone chooses to leave Iraq, said Father Benham Benoka, president of the Humanitarian Nineveh Relief Organization with which Diana works.

“So many families are leaving Iraq,” he told CNA. And the situation is even worse for those families who have left and are currently stranded in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan.

Christians in the region need housing, employment, education, and treatment for medical and mental health issues, and Benham’s organization is doing its best to provide for their needs. The relief organization has provided over 200,000 patients with free health care, as well as other types of aid.”

When the United States toppled Saddam Husain the new government installed received no guidelines to write a new constitution. As a result, Sharia was made the supreme law just like in Iran. The Iraq constitutions states in Article 2, “No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.” The same article establishes Islam as the “official religion.” There are no real guarantees of freedom of religion for Christians.

After ISIS captured Mosul in June 2014, Christians from Qaraqosh, Mosul and other neighboring towns were given three choices: convert to Islam, pay a jizya tax, or die. By August of 2014, 50,000 people left Qaraqosh to seek asylum.

[su_button url=”http://diapersforrefugees.org/helping-christian-refugees/”]Babies of Iraqi Christian refugees fleeing the Islamic State need diapers – Please help![/su_button]

Christians faced greater oppression today than under Saddam Hussain. This is why Christians fled from Bagdad north to the Nineveh Plains and Kurdish areas. It is in these areas that our Diapers for Refugees and Christmas for Refugees program is operating.

A Christian refugee child poses with diapers at one of the seven different diaper delivery locations made possible through Diapers for Refugees.

The Diapers for Refugees program aims to send high quality disposable diapers to these Christian refugee families located in camps around Erbil. Families in these camps are dying from diaper rash because of the inability to wash cloth diapers with soap and clean water. Due to the lack of diapers, mothers are forced to use donated clothing as diapers for their children, which still can’t be cleaned properly.

With help from our donors, the Diapers for Refugees program gave nearly 300 families enough diapers to last for three months, totaling 160,000 diapers in the first shipment which took place in March 2016. In June of 2016, 160,000 more diapers were sent and distributed to families in the refugee camps located in Erbil. Our commitment for the remainder of 2016 is to provide these Christian refugee camps with diapers every three months, totaling 640,000 disposable diapers given to displaced Christian families.

The price of a single shipment of diapers ranges from $18,000 to $20,000 or 11 cents per diaper. These shipments are distributed by large truckloads to Christian refugee camps across Northern Iraq.

The Islamic State has declared war on Christianity too many times to count. Christianity is under attack and thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters are dying because of it. These Christian refugees need our continued prayers and support. Learn how you can help.

Christian refugee children bow their heads in prayer during one of our Christmas for Refugee programs.

Christian refugee children bow their heads in prayer during one of our Christmas for Refugee programs.

The Christmas for Refugees program helps displaced Christians from Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon that are being ignored by Islamic run charities. In 2013, 2014, Christmas events that included hot meals were served to Christian refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon. In 2015 the program was expanded to Christian IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons) in Iraq who fled the Islamic State as the city of Mosul and Christians villages nearby were overrun. Much of the Nineveh Plain was also stolen from Christian families who fled to the Kurdish areas in the northeast. In 2016 the number of children served will be increased.

Christmas for Refugees is much more than one hot meal at Christmas. The many hours long program includes a warm place to stay for a day with Gospel themed plays and puppet shows along with games and traditional Christmas songs. Gospel themed coloring books and work books are supplied to the children and in some cases Arabic language picture Bibles. Each child takes home a gift box for themselves and their family. The gift box for each child’s family varies by area, even within the same nation. The family gift is a box of essential items including toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand soap, tissues, sponges, feminine hygiene items as well as dish and laundry soaps. Learn how you can help.

 

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