06-25-2015 Washington DC (Fox News): Throughout the Middle East and North Africa today, Christianity is under attack. Terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are destroying some of the oldest and most sacred Christian communities and relics in the world on the very lands where Christianity was born and first took root. They are committing brutal atrocities against Christian communities in Syria and Iraq, persecuting religious minorities and destroying entire towns and local economies. Christians are fleeing their homes in increasing numbers, creating an exploding refugee crisis that will have grave ramifications on the stability and security of the entire region.
While the world has been rightly outraged by the violence waged by ISIS against people of all sects, ethnicities, and religions, the United States, Europe and other key allies have done little to end ISIS’s systematic efforts to drive-out and eradicate entire religious communities from their historic and sacred homelands. The Obama Administration has repeatedly refused to defend religious freedom abroad and continues to ignore its devastating cost to those religious communities targeted by terrorists because of their religious beliefs.
As a nation founded in the pursuit of religious freedom, America can and must do more to root-out the religious intolerance that is helping to foster much of the political instability and violence we see today. Specifically, we believe the Obama Administration should integrate the protection of religious freedom into its overall response to growing terrorist threats and development efforts around the world. Doing so would help to eliminate the underlying causes of violent extremism, promote increased international economic stability, and foster greater respect for human rights.