The slaughter of Christians taking place today is like a "living history" for Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-California. Her parents and grandparents fled the Middle East because they were being persecuted for their Christian faith, she explained to The Christian Post in a videophone interview.
Both of Eshoo's parents emigrated to the United States as children. Both sets of her grandparents, Armenian and Assyrian Christians, "fled for their lives because Christians were being slaughtered," she explained. What is happening to Christians in Syria and Iraq today recalled for Eshoo stories told to her by her grandmothers.
"What we are witnessing today, and have been witnessing, began after the invasion of the U.S. into Iraq, ... This is a living history for me. What is taking place now are the same stories that my grandmothers have told me of what they witnessed, of what they endured, of the family members who did not make it because they were slaughtered. So this is very real to me," she said.
- (Photo: Anna Eshoo's office)
What is taking place needs to be labeled "genocide," Eshoo added, because that is what it is, and there is an urgency to immediately address the crisis.
"I don't think any president wants genocide not dealt with next to their name, it matters not whether it is a Republican administration or a Democratic administration," she said.
Eshoo has been one of the leading spokespersons in Congress on the issues of religious freedom and the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. She supported a resolution passed in the House condemning ISIS and calling on the State Department to work with the Kurds and other regional allies to secure safe havens for the displaced religious and ethnic minorities.
She also co-authored legislation with Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Virginia, to establish a special envoy in the State Department to focus on the plight of religious minorities in the Middle East.
She had worked on getting that bill passed since the George W. Bush administration, she said, but had difficulty getting support in the Senate and the State Department. It recently passed the Senate with the help of Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, and was signed by President Obama.
Eshoo emphasized that she would not support using U.S. ground troops against ISIS, but believes the threat can be dealt with through a coalition of groups threatened by ISIS, such as the Kurds and the new Iraqi government.
Watch the whole interview: