The European Union has already designated the atrocities committed by ISIS against Christians and other groups as genocide. This means that there is a level of persecution of Christians by ISIS that is designed to destroy them as a people.
As I reported, the Obama administration has refused to take the same steps as the EU. It is unclear and unexplained why they would refuse. But, there are several forces seeking to get the administration to follow Europe’s lead.
Holding a bloody shirt, he carries with him to remember the Islamic State’s crimes against Iraqi Christians; Douglas Bazi described for a Washington audience Thursday how he’s suffered at ISIS’ hands: He was kidnapped, had his teeth bashed in with a hammer and watched as his church was bombed.
Bazi joined Middle Eastern Christian leaders and human rights advocates from the Knights of Columbus on Thursday as the group, along with In Defense of Christians (IDC), released a powerful and comprehensive report they say makes the case that the terror campaign against Christians and other minorities in Syria, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East can only be called one thing: genocide.
The report details names of murdered Christians and the numbers of Churches attacked. This places pressure on the administration to change its mind on designating this persecution. It will make it harder for the President to ignore the other forces pushing for this change.
While groups like the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization, press the administration to make the genocide designation, Congress is applying similar pressure.
There are bills with strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate expressing the sense of Congress that those who commit or support violence against Christians and other ethnic minorities including Yazidis, Turkmen and Kurds for ethnic or religious reasons are committing genocide.
With these pressures, it will be harder for the administration to deny that the legal qualifications actually exist to label these acts as in fact genocide. This designation would make it easier for these people to receive financial and even military support.
Time will tell whether or not these pressures will move the President or if he will continue to ignore the evidence for his own unknown personal reasons.