SANTA ANA, Calif. — The following is a statement from Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry in response to the House of Representatives passing the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390):
"The bipartisan legislation spearheaded by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Rep. Anna Eschoo, D-Calif., is exactly the kind of action the United States government needs to be taking to provide relief for those victimized through genocide, human rights violations and war crimes by terrorist groups like ISIS. Open Doors USA applauds the unanimous passage of the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act by the House of Representatives.
"We now urge the Senate to expedite the bill at this critical time to ensure a strong and positive impact for victims of extreme persecution in Iraq and Syria. With the protracted dire situation on the ground, particularly in Erbil, the Senate must move the bill quickly so President Trump can sign it and implementation can begin.
"Since the United States declared more than one year ago that Christians and Yazidis, among other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, were victims of a genocide perpetrated by ISIS, little has been done to aid them in this unfolding tragedy. This bill is a crucial, necessary response to the terrible situation facing religious minorities throughout the region.
"This tragic situation demonstrates the need for the U.S. government and the United Nations to act on behalf of Christians and other minorities. They deserve rights to equal citizenship, dignified living conditions, and a prominent role in reconciling and rebuilding society in the Middle East. Open Doors USA is advocating for this through our One Million Voices of Hope for the Middle East campaign, asking all Americans to sign on in support of this call to action.
"It is imperative that Christians, Yazidis, Turkmen, Kakai, Shabak, Shi'a Muslims and other communities are preserved, as their presence is crucial to long-term stability in the region. Justice and accountability measures must encompass not only ISIS perpetrators, but also individuals and institutions in the region that violate the essential rights of religious minorities."
About Open Doors USA
For more than 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted. Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit OpenDoorsUSA.org.