ACLJ Urges New UN Secretary-General to Declare ISIS' Atrocities on Christians a Genocide

Syrian children
An activist (not pictured) holds a burning torch near children carrying banners inside a cage during a protest against forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Douma, eastern Al-Ghouta, near Damascus February 15, 2015. |

The American Center for Law and Justice is urging the new secretary-general of the United Nations to take action on the genocide of Christians in the Middle East.

"In our letter we urge the United Nations to 'declare that the ongoing atrocities committed by the Islamic State and associated groups constitute genocide and that those victimized by the genocide include Christians,'" the ACLJ wrote on Tuesday.

"We also urge the secretary-general 'to communicate with all appropriate offices of the United Nations accordingly and to mobilize the international community to take swift and decisive action,'" the conservative law group added.

The letter, which introduces the European Center for Law and Justice to Antonio Guterres, shares a long list of horrors Christians and other religious and sectarian minorities have suffered at the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and other countries in the region.

"In Syria, the Islamic State has beheaded and stoned men, women, and children for blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy. One Christian Syrian woman described 'Christians being killed and tortured, and ... children being beheaded in front of their parents,'" the letter reads in part.

Other brutalities include the mass kidnapping of Assyrian Christians; public torture of children and adults for refusing to deny their faith in Christ; a 12-year-old Christian girl being burned to death my radical fighters in Mosul; along with multiple instances of rape and sex-slavery Christian women have been subjected to.

"It is indisputable that ISIS (the Islamic State) is targeting Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq because of their faith — with an intent to exterminate them — and these horrific acts of violence are spreading around the world," the law group said.

The ACLJ has petitioned the U.N. to recognize the genocide and to take action to help persecuted minorities on a number of occasions, and has previously sent letters to former U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, the U.N. Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, the former U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N., Ambassador Samantha Power, and the current Permanent Representative of the U.S. to the U.N., Ambassador Nikki Haley.

The law group told Guterres in its latest letter that the international community has a responsibility to stand up to genocide.

"The Holocaust stands as a stark and poignant reminder of immense and inexcusable loss of human lives that occurs when nations fail to act quickly — fail to timely intervene and prevent further barbaric acts of genocide," the letter said.

"With each day that passes, more and more lives are lost in this genocide. The international community cannot again fail to act quickly; rather it must learn from history and act swiftly and decisively."

Guterres, who assumed the role of secretary-general earlier this year, is a practicing Roman Catholic, CNN reported in December 2016.

Before his latest role, Guterres served as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees between 2005 to 2015, where he tackled the sweeping migrant crisis that has resulted from the war with IS.

Back in March, he expressed hope that IS will soon be eradicated from Iraq with the awaited liberation of Mosul.

"This is a visit of solidarity, solidarity with the Iraqi people, solidarity with Iraqi Government and institutions; solidarity in what I believe is an historic moment for Iraq. Iraq is in the final stages of its fight against terrorism," Guterres said at the time at a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad.

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