U.S. Rep. Gary Peters & Colleagues encourage President Obama to

Washington, D.C. – Last week, Congressman Gary Peters and 37 other Members of Congress sent a letter to President Barack Obama in advance of his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. As the final American combat troops leave Iraq, Congressman Peters shares the concern of thousands that religious minorities could continue to be increasingly targeted for discrimination and murder.

Along with Representatives such as Anna Eshoo and Frank Wolf, Congressman Peters urged the President to raise the plight of Iraq’s religious minority communities, including Christian communities such as the Chaldeans, and press the Iraqi government to take concrete steps to ensure the long-term survival of these people. The letter highlights that Christians face “challenges that threaten their very existence” and goes on to describe that “minorities have been kidnapped, raped, tortured, beheaded, and evicted from their homes.”

Furthermore, the letter requested that President Obama raise the following issues with the Iraqi Prime Minister:

1. Prosecution of acts of violence and discrimination against religious minorities;
2. Protection of places of worship;
3. Increased governmental representation for minorities;
4. Discussion of an administrative region for religious minorities.

Since early in his first term as a Member of Congress, U.S. Rep. Peters has been an active member of the Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus in the U.S. Congress which advocates for the protection and preservation of these religious minorities. This effort has also allowed him to work on behalf of refugees that have left Iraq, many of whom are now living in the Greater Detroit area.
Congressman Peters also authored H. Res. 944, a resolution adopted in the House during the 111th Congress, which expressed the sense of the House of Representatives that the US remains deeply concerned about the plight of religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq, and calling for a comprehensive strategy to protect minorities, and for the Iraqi government to better protect places of worship.

Hy Safran
Congressman Gary C. Peters
U.S. House of Representatives
248 273 4227 – 202 225 5802
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