Genocide: UK Govt ‘in complete denial’

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By John Pontifex
LORD David Alton of Liverpool has called on the British Government to act without delay and follow the US by declaring Daesh (ISIS) atrocities a genocide against faith minorities.
The Crossbench member of the British House of Lords and trustee of Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (UK) criticised David Cameron’s government for being “in a state of complete denial” about the extremists’ violence against Christians, Yazidis and Shiite Muslims.
Lord Alton made his comments after US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday (17th March) declared that Daesh were “genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology and by actions”.
The leading British Catholic layman, who has championed the call for genocide since the autumn, said: “At last the US administration has woken up to the targeted murder of these defenceless people.
“What has to happen for the UK Government do the same? They’ve been in a state of complete denial.”
Lord Alton has repeatedly called on Mr Cameron to fulfil the UK’s obligations as a signatory of the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, requiring the UK to “prevent and punish” acts of genocide.
In his comments to ACN, Lord Alton said: “The [UK Government] should take a lead and table a resolution at the [UN] Security Council demanding that signatories to the Genocide Convention accept their double duty to protect and to punish.”
ACN fact-finding visits to Iraq and Syria have uncovered widespread acts of Daesh genocide against Christians and other minorities.
The charity found evidence of intent to force Christians out of their homes on pain of death, killings, abductions, notably including clergy, desecration of churches and religious symbols, and hate speech.
Further evidence of genocide of Christians and other minorities was uncovered in ACN’s 2015 Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians oppressed for their Faith, which highlighted “religiously-motivated ethnic-cleansing of Christians” both in the Middle East and parts of Africa.
The report, which in London was launched at a UK Parliamentary meeting chaired by Lord Alton, described an orchestrated effort to force Middle East Christians out of their homelands.
• To add your support to the petition calling on the UK Government to recognise the genocide of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities, go to

Editor’s Notes

Directly under the Holy See, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity – helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Fr Werenfried van Straaten, whom St John Paul II named “An outstanding Apostle of Charity”, the organisation is now at work in more than 140 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, Aid to the Church in Need’s Child’s Bible – God Speaks to his Children has been translated into 176 languages and more than 51 million copies have been distributed all over the world.

Aid to the Church in Need UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1097984) and Scotland (SC040748). ACN’s UK office is in Sutton, Surrey and there is a Scottish office in Motherwell, near Glasgow.

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