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British Government ‘unwilling’ to call persecution of Middle East faithful genocide

The British Government has agreed to consider if the massacre and expulsion of Christians from the Middle East by ISIS represents genocide but said it was unwilling to use the term.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Minister of State at the Foreign Office, told the Lords that she would “reflect” on whether brutality inflicted on minorities by the Islamic terrorists  amounted to efforts to eradicate them completely.

She said the Government acknowledged that ISIS was “persecuting individuals and communities on the basis of their religion, belief or ethnicity, and its murderous campaign has resulted in the most appalling humanitarian crisis of our time”.

But she said the Government was unwilling to profess the view, held by Pope Francis, that the persecution was genocidal, but added: “I will certainly continue to reflect on that.”

Lord Alton told the Lords that the killing of Christians in Syria was a “genocide that dares not speak its name”.

In spite of the assurance from Baroness Anelay, the Foreign Office confirmed after the debate that the Government did not intend to use the term “genocide” to describe the slaughter and expulsion of Christians by ISIS.


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