In recent weeks I have been writing about a report from the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians entitled “Genocide against Christians in the Middle East,” the purpose of which was to draw attention to the fact that a genocide has been occurring in the Middle East.
The report was directed toward Secretary of State John Kerry in an effort to get the United States to formally and legally declare that it is taking place.
The report quotes Michael T. Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency as saying that ISIS is “not a military structure to be defeated” but it is a “social, cultural, to a degree economic and definitely religious phenomenon” and makes the case that this kind of ignorance of the nature of ISIS and Islam is impeding us from addressing what is really happening.
What we are actually seeing with this genocide is the beginnings of another Holocaust, not just one that will include everyone not of the correct Islamic persuasion, but with its main focus on exterminating Christians beginning with the area of Iraq and Syria where a new Caliphate has been declared.
Unlike the Holocaust, when intelligence during the early years of the war was available but incomplete, we have a better ability to see and to gather nearly real time evidence of what is happening.
This report includes evidence in sickening detail that depicts the brutality and violence that is being perpetrated upon Christians.
What is not as well known about ISIS is that it began as early as 2003, with evidence that the killing of Christians in Iraq began with its formation. The report gives the names and dates of death of 1,077 Christian martyrs.
Though one might expect that the intensity of the murders would have increased in the last few years, in reality the dates given for each person murdered by ISIS indicates that the killings began in earnest around 2005 to 2006. It has been an ongoing problem for a very long time now, but the public is just now learning how significant the problem is.
The report makes this painfully clear, citing sources that have documented the slaughter of Christians. One source, Shlomo, a “nongovernmental organization of internally displaced persons,” has a list of 1,131 Christians killed between 2003 and 2014.
Another source, Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan of Antioch, Syria, claims that over 1,000 Christians have been murdered in Syria, and in Iraq, over 500. A third source, Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo, Syria, “asserts that hundreds of Christians have been killed or kidnapped in Aleppo, and up to ‘thousands’ throughout Syria.” Many of the Christians that were killed were beheaded or crucified.
But the killings are not always so individually targeted. In November of 2015 ISIS bombed a Russian Metrojet, Flight number 244, in which ISIS claimed credit for “the death of Eastern crusaders” and “cross-worshipers”.
In 2013, mass graves of Christians were reported in Sadad, Syria, about 95 miles north of Damascus. A report from Morning Star News stated that 45 were killed, 30 were wounded, 10 were missing as 1,500 families were used as human shields for a week.
About 2,500 other families from the town of a population of 15,000 fled the city and became part of the refugee population. That same report (in 2013) indicated that 450,000 Syrian Christians had left their homes during the previous two years.
The report not only documents the murder, kidnappings and enslavement of Christians (especially women and young girls as sex slaves) in the region, but also 125 specific attacks on churches. Most of the churches were destroyed by rocket fire, explosive devices, or car bombs. Most of the churches that were listed were in places in Iraq, such as Mosul, Baghdad, and Kirkuk.
And on a recent episode of Oliver North’s War Stories, it was reported that in northern Iraq, “tens of thousands” of Christians had been killed.
Two weeks ago it became official that the United States formally and legally recognized that a genocide against Christians was taking place. Yet, I have not heard any news beyond that that indicates anything will change. Muslim refugees will continue to flood into our country, but will any Christian refugees be saved?
Though it has been disputed he said it, Winston Churchill has been attributed for saying, “You can depend upon the Americans to do the right thing, but only after they have exhausted every other possibility.”
In fact, it may have actually been the Israeli politician and diplomat Abba Eban who said, “Men and nations do act wisely when they have exhausted all the other possibilities.”
What other choice do we have to save our fellow Christians from genocide?
ISIS has to be destroyed.