It may be the tragedy of the 21st century, and it’s still ongoing, but most of the world seems to have forgotten. Two years ago, there was a massive outpouring of support for Christians in Syria and Iraq. Today, there’s no more mention of them. What happened?
A very real and terrible genocide is taking place. Islamic terrorists under the umbrella of the Islamic State have occupied a swathe of land in Syria and Iraq. They have imposed their strict Islamic rule on the people. They have slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people for trivial crimes or no crime at all. They have persecuted everyone who is different in any way.
They have murdered Christians wholesale.
Today, the Islamic State appears to be waning slowly in Iraq as Iraqi forces and their allies, chiefly the United States, put constant pressure on the terrorist state.
Despite Allied gains in the region, ISIS is expanding elsewhere, particularly in North Africa.
Wherever these terrorists go, Christians are especially persecuted.
Christians have a long history in the Middle East. They have also suffered persecution for centuries. But few events are like what they face today.
Most Christians in ISIS seized territory have fled. Thousands more did not escape in time and were slaughtered. Perhaps a few thousand or less still live in ISIS territory, forced to pay the Jizya tax to survive. Those who fail to pay the tax may be killed.
At least 200,000 Christian refugees now live displaced, mostly in refugee camps. A couple years ago, the world sent aid to them by the boatload. Food, clothing, blankets, bibles, rosaries and other necessities were shipped in large quantities. That tide of aid has now slowed to a trickle. Worse, the world seems to have forgotten that a Christian genocide even took place.
It is important that world governments recognize what has happened in Iraq and Syria as a genocide and take swift, concrete steps to relieve the suffering of these people. Peace must be restored and justice served.
Let us pray and act for these ends today.
By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)