State Department Designates ISIS’ Actions Against Christians and Other Religious Minorities as Genocide

US State Department Decision Follows Unanimous Vote from the US House to Declare ISIS Terror as Genocide

03/17/2016 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) is elated with Secretary Kerry’s decision to designate the heinous actions of ISIS against Christians and other religious minorities as genocide. His announcement comes just days after the US House voted unanimously in favor of a concurrent resolution that did the same, and follows similar action from the European Union. This designation is just the second time a US administration has labeled actions as genocide during an active conflict.

Secretary Kerry, in his statement announcing the designation stated, “My purpose here today is to assert in my judgement, ISIS is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims.” He continued,”Daesh is genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology and by actions.”

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, who co-led the unanimous House resolution, said of the decision, “I commend Secretary Kerry and the State Department for making this important designation. The genocide against Christians, Yazidis and others is not only a grave injustice to these ancient faith communities – it is an assault on human dignity and an attack on civilization itself. The United States has now spoken with clarity and moral authority.”

State Department spokesman Mark Toner has said previously that this designation “would not necessarily result in any particular legal obligation for the United States,” but many believe this may push the US to take further military action or ask the Security Council to prosecute ISIS actions as genocide in the International Criminal Court.

Nate Lance, ICC’s Advocacy Manager, stated, “International Christian Concern is grateful that Secretary Kerry has decided to call ISIS for what it is: genocidal. Their killing, enslavement, human trafficking, rape, and destruction of Christian and religious minority communities in Iraq and Syria can be classified as nothing else. Although there is uncertainty and disagreement regarding next steps, having the genocide designation in place raises international concern and solidarity against ISIS to the highest level. This is an important step in defeating this group and restoring freedom to the communities that they have terrorized.”

For interviews with William Stark, Regional Manager for South Asia, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

Media Contact:
Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator
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International Christian Concern, ICC, is a Washington DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide.  ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.  International Christian Concern, www.persecution.org

 

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