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US State Department Required to Render their Decision on March 17th

3/15/2016 Washington D.C., (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) is pleased to report that the United States House of Representatives has unanimously passed a concurrent resolution rendering their opinion that the atrocities committed by ISIS against religious minorities should be deemed genocide. Giving this violence its proper name would elevate these atrocities as most heinous, encouraging a more forceful response from the United States and the international community.  By law, the State Department has until March 17 to give their final decision on the genocide designation.

The bipartisan resolution, led by Republican Jeff Fortenberry and Democrat Anna Eshoo, sends a clear message to the administration and State Department that Congress believes that the crimes committed by ISIS should be classified as genocide.  The passage of this resolution follows similar action from the European Parliament, which in February unanimously voted for this designation.

Cong. Fortenberry said of the resolution’s passage, “It is my sincere hope that this trans-partisan resolution will further compel the State Department to join the building international consensus in calling the horrific ISIS violence against Christians, Yezidis, and others by its proper name: ‘genocide.’”

Speaker Ryan made similar comments saying, “What is happening in Iraq and Syria is a deliberate, systematic targeting of religious and ethnic minorities.  Today, the House unanimously voted to call ISIS’s atrocities what they are: a genocide.”

Last month, Secretary of State Kerry said that he needed “further evaluation” in order to test the designation “on the basis of the legal standard,” as well as to evaluate his own opinions before making a final designation.

Nate Lance, ICC’s Advocacy Manager, stated, “The atrocities that ISIS has committed against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria are shocking.  I am pleased that the genocide designation has transcended political calculation with a unanimous vote from the House.  However, it seems that at best the State Department will declare the Yezidis as victims of genocide, while excluding Christians and other minority groups from the genocide designation.  My prayer is that Secretary Kerry and the State Department will follow the lead of the US House and the European Parliament in declaring these crimes as genocide for all.  This declaration is vital in order to encourage the international community to take further action against ISIS and put an end to these atrocities.” 

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