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A Deafening Silence as Iraqi Christians Vanish

Urge the President to Speak Out

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A grave humanitarian crisis is sweeping Iraq. The President has announced humanitarian aid and air strikes against ISIS. He needs to do more.

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At BreakPoint we don’t take partisan stands. Issues concern us. Political parties don’t.

After all, political neutrality is in our DNA. Once he encountered Jesus, our founder and inspiration, Chuck Colson, gladly worked with people of good will from both sides of the aisle. Chuck knew that when it comes to pivotal moral and social issues such as prison reform or religious freedom, there are no red hearts or blue hearts. There are only human hearts, and our common humanity goes far deeper than any political pin on our lapels.

That’s why, without a hint of partisanship, I urgently join our voice as a ministry with that of Representative Frank Wolf of Virginia. Wolf, who happens to be a Republican, has been a stalwart and sometimes lonely voice speaking out for religious freedom for many decades. Now he’s calling our president to speak up for the rights and safety of religious minorities in Iraq, including Christians.

As you probably know, an Islamist terror group that goes by the acronym ISIS has been gobbling up huge swathes of territory, executing Christians and other religious minorities, and even destroying priceless artifacts. Tens of thousands have been forced to flee with little more than the shirts on their backs. My friend, Canon Andrew White, vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq, says, “The Islamic State simply said [']we can do anything now that the world is just looking at Gaza['] . . . in reality that is true. Iraq seems like old news, yet things just get worse and worse here.”

Tragically, until last Thursday’s announcement of humanitarian aid, the President’s silence on daily_commentary_08_11_14this issue has been deafening, too.

In a recent letter to President Obama, Rep. Wolf wrote, “Mr. President . . .  You, Secretary of State Kerry and Ambassador Power all need to speak out.”

“Time is running out,” Wolf continues.  “How many more people must be killed for you to acknowledge this situation?”

President Obama has said there’s no military solution to this crisis. But there are other measures to take, and Wolf is calling for the president to take a number of them immediately, including:

  • Sign the bipartisan legislation approved by the House and Senate to create a special envoy to promote religious freedom in the Middle East, legislation that has been sitting on Mr. Obama’s desk.  The envoy would work with the Kurdish and Iraqi governments to address this humanitarian crisis;
  • Appoint a senior official to coordinate all U.S. government resources necessary to stop the genocide;
  • Publicly thank the Kurdish authorities for protecting the Christians and other religious minorities who have fled ISIS; and finally
  • Work with trusted NGOs—such as Catholic Relief Services and UNICEF—who are already on the ground.

Friends, this is not a partisan issue; it’s a biblical issue...to rescue the perishing. Let’s stand with Frank Wolf and with others of good will, of all parties, to respond to this disaster. As Wolf said in closing his letter to the President, “You and your administration must take action now, before the damage is irreversible.  Please speak out for the voiceless.”

Folks, I’m asking you to call or write the White House. Applaud the President’s use of air drops and air strikes, but urge him please to take the steps recommended by Rep. Wolf.

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Come to BreakPoint.org, click on this commentary, and we’ll provide you resources on this critical issue, along with contact information for the White House.

And when you’re at BreakPoint.org, be sure to listen to John Stonestreet’s “BreakPoint This Week” interview with WORLD magazine’s Mindy Belz on the situation in the Middle East.

Take the Next Step

A Deafening Silence as Iraqi Christians Vanish: Urge the President to Speak Out

Your voice counts. Contact the White House. Click here for information. To find your Senators and Congressman’s contact information, click here. And click here for John Stonestreet's “BreakPoint This Week” interview with Mindy Belz about the situation in the Middle East.

Resources:

Rep. Frank Wolf’s letter to the President
Rep. Frank Wolf | August 4, 2014

Targeted: The Disappearing Christians of Iraq
Stan Guthrie | ChristianHeadlines.com | June 19, 2014

Islamic State militants seize Christian town in northern Iraq; thousands flee
Karen DeYoung, Loveday Morris | Washington Post | August 8, 2014

BreakPoint This Week: Israel and Iraq - What's Going On
John Stonestreet, Mindy Belz | BreakPoint.org | August 8, 2014

The Last Christians in Iraq
Lela Gilbert | FOXnews.com | July 22, 2014

With Attention on Gaza, No Time for Christians in Iraq and Syria
Valen Caldwell | BreakPoint.org | August 5, 2014


Comments:

@Richard L Enison
"It asks him to arm our allies the Kurds so they can defend themselves and other refugees seeking asylum, and to flood them with humanitarian aid immediately."

Like how we armed our allies the Taliban to fight the Soviet Union? What could go wrong?

We need to really take a good look at the track record our interventionism has had these last few decades. It's not all that good. Most of our meddling only makes things worse and frequently comes back to bite us.

-The Bechtloff
-landsharkattacks.BlogSpot.com
I did
The Bechtloff,

I have asked the President to "do something" by signing the petition at BreakPoint's ally aclj.org (specifically, http://aclj.org/get-involved). It asks him to do more than speak out. It asks him to arm our allies the Kurds so they can defend themselves and other refugees seeking asylum, and to flood them with humanitarian aid immediately.
Caution about War
There is no question that more international aid is needed to help our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria. However, when thinking and responding to ISIS, we need to be careful not to start Crusades round two. Obama was silent, but he is not presently silent, and for that I am thankful.

Obama is probably sticking to his campaign promise to be slow to war, and do what is in his power to get the international community to do more such that America is not the world police. Have we forgotten that America has limited resources?

That said, an Humanitarian convoy would do more and perhaps promote peace visiting the afflicted, and we should thank our Kurdish allies. France has signed on to international help, and more countries will follow suit, I pray. For Obama's wisdom and careful planned action to get the international community better involved I also pray.
the urge to "do something!"
What exactly does our President "speaking out" accomplish? Will ISIS feel bad after Obama wags his finger at them and stop? Do you think we should get involved there militarily? Given that our intervention in that country is what turned it into this destabilize nightmare to begin with I wonder why you imagin more of the same would have a different effect. The most dangerous urge in politics is the urge to "do something" without thinking through what the consequences would be.

-The Bechtloff
-landsharkattacks.blogspot.com
Can you change the unchangable?
I agree that the situation in Iraq is terrible, but it is written in the Koran that you either convert or die. This is what their sacred book teaches. We can not change that. (Yes, I have read the Koran)




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