World leaders acknowledged the atrocities of ISIS against Christians in Iraq and Syria a genocide. But what genocide is in General, and that this recognition requires the United States? In this video interview with the religious leaders of the Middle East about why the word “genocide” is so important, and what needs to be done to stop atrocities.
“It is genocide. You need to understand the reality! And need to see the reality!” — says MEP györgy Halwani.
What genocide? “The actions committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such”. This term after the Holocaust, described the crimes in Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur and now with the crimes of ISIS against Yezidis and Christians in Iraq and Syria.
“In my opinion, DAISH (Islamic state) is responsible for the genocide of minorities in territories under their control, such as Yazidis, Christians and Shia,” says John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of state.
All this has led to the largest humanitarian crisis in the world since the Second world war and the brutal destruction of ancient Christian communities. This war has been going on for more than five years, and 12 million Syrians — which is about half of the population — were either internally displaced or refugees in neighbouring countries. As for the Christians, how they say their number has dropped from two million to about five hundred thousand. And it’s not just in Syria. Yazidis and Christians in neighboring Iraq have also undergone a terrible genocide by ISIS.
“Gunmen kill one and all. They kill not only people. They are killing our history, our dignity, our Church. Now in Mosul and villages of the Nineveh valley do not remain Christians,” says Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul (Syriac Orthodox Church).
“Refugees still remained about 400 thousand people. They live in tents winter and summer, in bad weather and good, having no income, no water, no food, no shoes, no clothes, nothing. And 3.5 thousand women still abducted by ISIS militants. And a thousand boys aged 6-10 years in captivity in a special place in Mosul, where they drill, brainwash them, teach them the use of weapons. This new generation of terrorists for ISIL,” says vian, Dahil, the representative of the Yazidi in the Iraqi Parliament.
What now? The United States can arrest, prosecute and punish the leaders of ISIS and jihadists genocide. Now you need to protect Christians and Yezidis.
Some human rights activists advocate the creation of a special Christian enclave in northeast Syria and in Nineveh valley in Iraq. But some religious leaders in the Middle East against this idea.
“We would not want to separate: Christians in one country and the Muslims in another. We used to live together. We’re all brothers — says Issam John Darwish, Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church. — We have good relations between Christians and Muslims. Why end the relationship? It’s a great testimony to the world. Islam and Christianity can coexist,” he says.
And if the Christians here don’t stay, who will be salt and light?
So, after a resolution adopted by the European Parliament, and recognition from the lips of U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry, the world now knows that Christians here in Syria, subjected to genocide.
“It’s not a question of believers or unbelievers, Christians or non-Christians. It is a question of human dignity” — says györgy Halwani.
Will the genocide recognition only on paper?
Or will be taken?
It may depend on you.
Links to resources about how you can help Christians in the middle East can be found on the website cbnnews.com.