By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer

Most people know that Christians in the Middle East have recently endured severe persecution at the hands of ISIS. But most people don’t know that, for years, a brotherhood of men have been quietly and vigilantly working behind the scenes on behalf of those Christians. These men are the Knights of Columbus, the largest Catholic fraternal organization in the world.

The Knights were among the principle organizations to shed light on the gruesome realities of life for Middle Eastern Christians and have effectively led efforts to come to their aid.

In March of 2016, they produced a nearly 300-page report documenting ISIS’ atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities. The report details how ISIS has executed thousands of Christians by crucifixions and beheadings and engaged in mass deportations of Christians from their ancestral homelands. Over 140,000 signatures supported the Knights’ petition calling for a formal declaration of the genocide based on the findings of the report. These efforts were decisive in the decision of former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to declare as genocide the treatment of Christians and other religious minorities in the region, a designation reaffirmed by the current administration.

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