Contact: Chelsen Vicari, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 540-239-2170 cell,
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq are targeted for death, sexual slavery, displacement, cultural eradication and forced conversion by ISIS. This urgent foreign crisis has received little attention from Republican and Democrat presidential candidates on the campaign trail and from the Obama Administration.

For months now, reports have circulated indicating that the State Department will exclude Christians and other religious minorities, and only include Yazidis, in their forthcoming genocide determination for ISIS. Fear of this injustice has provoked a resolution being discussed in the U.S. House of Representatives to declare genocide on behalf of all ISIS victims.

IRD calls on all of the presidential candidates to seek a morally and legally correct genocide determination and to declare to the world that they will not permit the genocide of Christians and other beleaguered religious minorities by ISIS or any other jihadist terrorist group.

IRD Religious Liberty Program Director Faith J. H. McDonnell commented:

“It is time for the Obama Administration to make a determination of genocide for Christians, Yazidis, Mandaeans, and all other religious minorities being targeted by ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

“We call upon all of the Presidential candidates, Republican and Democrat, to speak out about this moral outrage and demand justice for the victims of this genocide, even if the media and debate moderators fail to ask the appropriate questions. We also call upon them to urge that both House of Congress pass a resolution declaring the genocide of Christians, Yazidis, and all of the religious minorities.

“We commend such statements as that of Hillary Clinton, who said, ‘I am now sure we have enough evidence, what is happening is genocide deliberately aimed at destroying lives and wiping out the existence of Christians and other religious minorities,’ and Ted Cruz, who, quoting Iraqi Catholic nun Sister Diana, said it was shocking that the US government was ‘silent in the face of genocide.’ We urge more such statements by the candidates, as well as proposed plans of action for protecting the religious minorities.”