With a new presidency in office, President Trump has the opportunity to do something about the continued slaughter of Christians and other Religious Minorities by Muslim zealot despots like ISIS, the Taliban and Boko Haram.
Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., has given President Trump a grand opportunity to do something he has yet to do in his first months in office: make significant progress on religious freedom for persecuted Christians and other religious minorities around the world. With the recent passage of the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (HR 390) by the House of Representatives, the President is well-positioned to make a bold move to stabilize the region.
If passed by the Senate, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act will provide relief to those victimized by the ongoing genocide, human rights violations and war crimes by terrorist groups. But it is perhaps the secondary effects of this bill that will lead to the most powerful and lasting impact Fox News Reported.
HR 390 allows the U.S. to assist in the reestablishment of Christian, Yazidi and other minority communities in the Middle East, which are central to the survival of a pluralistic and open society—a giant slap in the face to the stated goal of ISIS to drive out all those who do not embrace their savage ideology. It also gives hundreds of thousands of refugees the opportunity to return to their homes instead of seeking refugee status in the West or risking dangerous journeys to enter Europe in desperation.
To be sure, as we often witness firsthand at Open Doors through our work on the ground in Iraq and Syria, many Christians wish to remain in their homeland and would do so if they had not lost hope after years without resources, as the world turns a blind eye to their plight.
Evangelical Christian voters seem to have been patient with the President thus far on international religious liberty issues, as they were with President Obama. But with the lack of key appointments in the State Department on religious liberty—there has been no whisper of a new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, and rumor has it that it could be empty until at least the fall of this year—that patience will not last forever. The President’s enthusiastic words on religious freedom around the world, and the importance of helping persecuted Christians, must to be met with action. Expediting this bill in the Senate and signing it swiftly would be a great victory for the President’s stated agenda.
As CEO of Open Doors USA, which ranks Syria and Iraq at number 6 and 7 respectively on our World Watch List of the most difficult places for Christians, I know the urgent need to protect and establish Christian and Yazidi communities in this region. For many years we have noted the sharp rise in persecution and sought to attend to the needs of these embattled communities.
Without these strong minority faith communities, the terrorists will have won their stated goal. We cannot allow this to happen—not only for the potential consequences of future movements along similar lines, but for the human toll that will play out for years to come on those communities that have existed since the time of Christ, and which are now lying fallow and empty according to Fox News.