Religious freedom group calls for UN action on ISIL genocide of Christians

by WorldTribune Staff, May 26, 2016

A religious freedom group is calling on the United Nations to “mobilize the international community” to take action to protect Christians against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) atrocities.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), in a letter to the UN, detailed ISIL’s executions of Christians and Yazidis by the thousands, and how the terror organization has subjected thousands more to rape and enslavement, and destroyed their places of worship and homes.

Iraqi Christians pray during a mass on Christmas eve at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Baghdad on Dec. 24, 2015. /Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani
Iraqi Christians pray during a mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Baghdad on Dec. 24, 2015. /Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani

The ACLJ called for “1) pressing the United Nations to declare that the ongoing atrocities committed by the Islamic State and associate groups constitute genocide; 2) communicating with all appropriate offices of the United Nations to that end; and 3) doing everything in your power to mobilize the international community to take swift and decisive action.”

Christian populations are vanishing in both Iraq and Syria as they are forced to choose between converting to Islam, paying a high protection tax called jizya, fleeing their ancient homelands, or facing death.

The ACLJ said its letter is aimed to ignite discussion at next month’s United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) session, where it hopes “leading humanitarian authorities will take action to put an end to the ongoing genocide.”

“As the time for the HRC’s meeting is rapidly approaching, it is important that the United States and Secretary (John) Kerry act quickly and decisively in advancing at the United Nations the cause of those Christians targeted by ISIS. We are optimistic that they will do so,” the ACLJ added.

Meanwhile, a 70-year-old Christian woman was stripped naked, beaten and paraded through the streets by a mob of around 300 Muslim men in a village in southern Egypt, according to the village’s Orthodox Coptic church.

The church said the Muslim men also burned down seven homes belonging to Christian families after rumors spread in the village that a Christian man was having a relationship with a Muslim woman.

The woman was reported to be the mother of the man involved in the rumored affair. She has since met with church leaders, the Diocese of Minya and Abu Qirqas said.

Tensions between the two religions in the province south of Cairo are high and extra-marital affairs between Muslims and Christians are strictly taboo.

In a TV interview on May 25, Minya’s most senior cleric, Anba Makarios, said the response if it had been a Muslim man having an affair with a Christian woman “would not have been anything like what happened. No one did anything and the police took no pre-emptive or security measures in anticipation of the attacks. We are not living in a jungle or a tribal society. It’s incorrect for anyone to declare himself judge, police and ruler.”

Since his election in 2014, President Abdul Fatah Sissi has eased some restrictions on Christians building churches and entering politics, but many grievances remain in Egypt’s Christian community, which makes up about 10 percent of the nation’s population.

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