End Times News Update
Sign: Believers Persecuted (ISIS attacks on Christians to be labeled genocide?)
Scripture: Matthew 24:8
News Source: Yahoo News
Catholics urge Obama to use ‘genocide’ label against ISIS
March 10, 2016
The Knights of Columbus, one of the largest Catholic fraternal
organizations in the world, is calling on President Obama to declare
that the Islamic State is guilty of “genocide” against Christians.
The group is releasing on Thursday a nearly 300-page report on an ISIS
campaign of torture, murder, rape and enslavement in the areas it
controls in Iraq and Syria.
The Obama administration has come under increasing pressure to
formally invoke the “genocide” label against ISIS, as the Islamic
State is also known, a dramatic step with uncertain political, legal
and even military consequences. Congress last year set a March 17
deadline for the State Department to announce its determination of
whether or not the Islamic State meets the relevant legal definitions.
The Knights of Columbus report, which was obtained by Yahoo News,
urges Obama to include Christians in any “genocide” determination
affecting the Islamic State.
The report includes a legal brief making the case that actions by ISIS
meet the definition of genocide as laid out in a 1948 treaty. That
agreement requires signatories, including the United States, to take
steps “to prevent and to punish” genocide, which it defines as acts
“committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national,
ethnical [sic], racial or religious group.”
The Knights of Columbus report includes extensive witness statements
collected from people who fled areas overrun by the Islamic State,
with stories of violence against the elderly and children, extortion,
beheadings, crucifixions, rapes and more. And it contains lists of
Christians killed and churches ransacked, and what appears to be an
ISIS price list for sex slaves.
“ISIS is committing genocide — the ‘crime of crimes’ — against
Christians and other religious groups in Syria, Iraq and Libya,” the
report says. “It is time for the United States to join the rest of the
world by naming it and by taking action against it as required by
The Thursday press conference will include remarks by Father Douglas
al-Bazi, a priest at Mar Elia Refugee Camp in Erbil, Iraq.
“I am personally begging the people of America to recognize a
genocide,” al-Bazi told Yahoo News by telephone on Wednesday. The
priest despaired for the Christian community in Iraq and Syria. “It’s
enough: We were two million, now we are 300,000, and I know that in
another five years we will disappear.”
Yahoo News was first to report last November that the administration
was looking to invoke the “genocide” label. The plan drew controversy
from the outset. The State Department at the time was considering a
declaration covering only the Yazidis, an ethnic/religious minority of
about 500,000 in northern Iraq, whom ISIS had openly declared its
intention to exterminate.
Christian groups and members of Congress quickly insisted that the
Islamic State’s atrocities against Christians in Iraq and Syria
amounted to genocide as well.
In December, the Knights of Columbus wrote a letter requesting a
meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry to make their case for why
the atrocities against Christians amounted to genocide. The meeting
never happened, but State Department officials asked the organization
to put together a dossier of evidence they could review. That led to
the creation of the report.
Kerry said in late February that he would decide soon on whether to
make a genocide declaration. In August 2014, the
senator-turned-top-diplomat had said the Islamic State’s actions
against Yazidis and Christians “bear all the warning sings and
hallmarks of genocide.”
Source: Yahoo Politics