U.S. declaration of Christian genocide in Mideast gives hope and healing to ISIS victims, Iraqi Christian leader says

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Shianee Mamanglu-Regala
Iraqi Christian leader Mark Arabo says the U.S. State Department declaration of Christian genocide in Iraq and Syria is ‘a defining moment in American history.’
The U.S. State Department’s declaration that Christian persecution by the Islamic State (ISIS) is “genocide” provides hope and healing to those suffering for their beliefs, according to an Iraqi Christian leader and a human rights activist.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asserted in a media conference last week that the terror group is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims.

He said the ISIS “is genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology and by actions—in what it says, what it believes and what it does.”

Mark Arabo, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Chaldean community in San Diego County who has been pushing for the enactment of legislation protecting Christians persecuted for their faith, said the declaration alone is “a defining moment in American history.”

“This is the second time in the history of the United States that the State Department and Congress have recognised Christian genocide; it’s historic by all measures,” he told The Gospel Herald during a phone interview.

“It means that Congress, the President, and the State Department now have a moral obligation to act. It’s not enough that they recognised the problem. They need to fix the problem. We hope and pray that the moral conscience of Congress is going to wake up, and God will open up their hearts and minds to the victims of genocide,” Arabo said.

The Christian leader noted that it is only now that Washington “got it right” [to declare genocide on ISIS].

“We hope this is a healing moment for our world.”

Citing reports he collected over the past months and included in his “Victims of ISIS” list, Arabo said there is now an estimated 70,000 Christian refugees who have been displaced or persecuted in the Syria and Iraq.

Despite having lost everything after ISIS militants bombed their homes and stripped them of their belongings, many Christians have not lost their hope and faith, he said.

Arabo urged the United States to lead along with Australia, the EU, and Canada in protecting the minorities and ensuring an end to persecution.

He pointed out that America’s “broken political system” has contributed to the delay in proclaiming ISIS atrocities against Christians and minorities in the Middle East as genocide.

“Politicians…in general, don’t have a moral compass,” he said.