The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has just released its 2016 Annual Report, which confirms that the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria constitutes genocide.  The report states, “ISIL’s summary executions, rape, sexual enslavement, abduction of children, destruction of houses of worship, and forced conversions all are part of what our commission has seen as a genocidal effort to erase their presence from these countries.” The State Department in March also officially recognized and designated this as genocide, and the question now is, what will the Obama Administration do about it?  It would be beyond tragic to recognize this persecution is genocide, but then take no meaningful efforts to stop it.

Maureen Ferguson
Senior Policy Advisor with The Catholic Association