The Fellowship continues its push to support the growing number of persecuted Christians in the Middle East, from those in Egypt to those being persecuted in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere. The Times of Israel's Matthew Lee reports that the United States Secretary of State has now called out the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group for its "crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing":
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the group is “clearly responsible for genocide” against Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Shiite Muslims in Syria and elsewhere. His comments were made as the State Department released its annual report on international religious freedom.
Tillerson said he was making the pronouncement to “remove any ambiguity” about previous genocide assertions made by his predecessor, John Kerry, who in March 2016, determined that genocide was occurring in Islamic State-held areas but was criticized by lawmakers and religious groups for not declaring genocide was taking place earlier. Neither administration’s genocide determination carries with it any legal obligation for the US or others.
“ISIS has and continues to target members of multiple religions and ethnicities for rape, kidnapping, enslavement and death,” Tillerson told reporters in presenting the report.
“ISIS is clearly responsible for genocide against Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims in areas it controlled. ISIS is also responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups, and in some cases against Sunni Muslims, Kurds and other minorities,” Tillerson said. “The protection of these groups — and others who are targets of violent extremism — remains a human-rights priority..."
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