ICC Note: The Obama Administration has finally stepped forward and made ending the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians a top priority. The State Department released a statement earlier this week that the US will continue to push for solutions along with other international officials from the EU and UN to bring this violence to an end. Of particular concern are Christians in Iraq and Syria who are still under threat of persecution from the Islamic State.
ICC has launched a campaign to provide aid to the Iraqi church to assist those in need who have fled from the attacks. Go here to find out more and donate: Iraqi Crisis Response
By: Sara Carter
08/01/14 Iraq (The Blaze) – Putting an end to the Islamic State terror group’s persecution of Middle East Christians and other minority groups is now a top priority for the Obama administration, State Department officials told TheBlaze this week.
Christians and other religious minorities persecuted by the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL, have been fleeing their homeland in a crisis expected to continue to escalate as militants threaten to encroach far beyond Syria and Iraq in their pursuit of a caliphate.
But as U.S. and European officials continue to search for solutions to quell the growing power of the radical organization — which operates as a de facto political state — new support is sprouting among disenfranchised Muslim youth in Europe. Muslim supporters of ISIS were waving the group’s black flag in the Hague, Netherlands on Tuesday and shouting “death to Jews” at a protest, which was approved by the Dutch government, according to numerous news reports.
Steven Feldstein, deputy assistant secretary with the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, told TheBlaze that the State Department has allocated an additional $14.3 million in humanitarian assistance since June 12 to meet the needs of Iraqi internally displaced persons and conflict victims.
“Persecution of Christians and other minority groups is a top priority for us,” Feldstein said. The State Department had already obligated over $136 million to Iraqis in the 2014 fiscal year.
“We’re meeting with those in vulnerable communities, religious representatives and leaders in the region,” Feldstein said. “We’re looking to fully engage to the extent possible to assist those who have been persecuted by ISIL.”
Feldstein would not comment on details of how the money is being allocated in an effort to address the crisis because of ongoing operational planning and security.
“I can’t comment on where we think ISIL will expand or show up next, it’s hypothetical,” said Feldstein. “The very essence that they began first in Syria, and now Iraq doesn’t bode well for how they will act next.”