National spokesman for Iraqi Christians and Chaldean-American businessman Mark Arabo said the "evil" being carried out by ISIS militants in Iraq now includes shocking beheadings of children, and he praised President Barack Obama for authorizing an intervention in the crisis Thursday.
"They are systematically beheading children, and mothers and fathers. The world hasn't seen an evil like this for a generation. There's actually a park in Mosul that they've actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick," Arabo told CNN's Jonathan Mann last week.
"And they have them in the park. This is crimes against humanity. The whole world should come together. This is much broader than a community or faith. This is crimes against humanity and they are doing the most horrendous, the most heartbreaking things you can think of," he explained.
Addressing the plight of Christians in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, since it was captured by the Islamic State militants, Arabo said 95 percent of them were forced to flee while some five percent of the Christian population converted to Islam.
He said even Christians who thought they could escape persecution by paying a fine discovered later that there was no honor among the militants.
"The letter that they sent out with those three items (convert, pay a fine or die), they did ask to pay a fine but actually after they pay a fine, they (ISIS militants) are actually taking over their wives and their daughters and making them into their wives. So really it's convert or die, face death by the sword," explained Arabo.
And for those who fled to neighboring areas of Iraq, said Arabo, the militants have ensured that the Christians harbor no hope of returning.
"They've marked the red stamp of death on Christian homes and basically saying we know who you are and if you come back, you will get killed. That's why we're saying this is a Christian holocaust within our midst and the world community cannot turn a blind eye," said Arabo. "They are absolutely killing every Christian they see. This is a genocide in every sense of the word. They want everyone to convert and they want Sharia law to be the law of the land."
And in his weekly address Saturday, just days after he authorized airstrikes in Iraq, President Obama revealed that along with protecting American interests, one of the reasons he decided to intervene in the Iraq crisis was the threat of genocide to religious minorities.
"The terrorists that have taken over parts of Iraq have been especially brutal to religious minorities—rounding up families, executing men, enslaving women, and threatening the systematic destruction of an entire religious community, which would be genocide," said Obama.
In a statement Thursday after Obama authorized the airstrikes, Arabo said the Iraqi Christian community were thankful for President Obama's decision.
"We wholeheartedly stand by the Obama administration in its push for targeted airstrikes and a humanitarian mission in Iraq. This is a step in the right direction for our global community. We commend President Obama for referring to this massacre as a targeted 'genocide'," he said.