Southern Baptist Convention President, Ronnie Floyd, sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Sunday, asking him to "lead forward" in the fight against the Islamic State and "take necessary actions now" to bring an end to the suffering of millions who've been displaced, abused and killed as a result of ISIS' uprising.
The letter, which was also signed and supported by 16 former presidents of the convention, assured Obama that he has the "unequivocal support of the vast majority" of America's largest Protestant denomination in getting the United States more actively involved in ending ISIS' reign and the persecution of what the Scripture calls "the least of these."
"Since ISIS is a continuing threat to world peace in a way unknown to us since the Nazis of World War II, we humbly call upon you to use the influence and power of your distinguished office to take the necessary actions now in this urgent hour to bring an end to these human atrocities," Floyd's letter to Obama states. "The abuse, brutalization and murder of children, women, and men that is occurring before the world calls our country to lead forward to bring this to an end."
The letter also compared Obama to Esther in the Bible, who used her power as Queen of Persia to deliver the Jews from destruction. The letter states that Obama has also been tasked with leading a "historical movement" that could result in the protection of millions of persecuted people in Iraq and Syria.
"Mr. President just as Esther led forward for the deliverance of the Jews in her day, we believe you also 'have come to the kingdom for such a time as this,'" the letter asserts. "You have been given a historical movement to lead in protecting the people and the principle of religious freedom in the world. We are praying for you to have wisdom and courage in this hour."
In an interview with The Christian Post, Floyd emphasized that ISIS is a direct threat to the idea of religious liberty and that the United States needs to "stand strong" to defend those freedoms.
"This issue is so close to our hearts because of it being a global religious liberty issue that we really believe that America needs to stand strong for religious liberty around the world as well as at home," Floyd said. "Therefore because of our passion about that subject, and the heritage that we bring to that, we really encourage him to simply consider what we are saying in the letter. That is to rise up, lead forward and do whatever is necessary to try to deal with threat called ISIS."
Although ISIS kills people on a whim, utilizes child soldiers and enslaves thousands of women and girls, Floyd is puzzled as to why Obama and other world leaders haven't done more to this point to end such atrocious mistreatment of humanity.
"It's a real issue. People who had much in life all of a sudden have nothin,g and have been displaced from their homes and their countries and all this matters," Floyd explained. "Obviously, it has become a major humanitarian crisis, which is another reason why I do not understand why world leaders are not getting after this issue and dealing with the issue."
While Floyd wasn't specific about the "necessary actions" he's calling on the president to take, he asserts that there's no time to waste and that something must be done immediately.
"None of us know quite what the answer to that is but getting along with other leaders of the world, obviously they must get together to deal with whatever "deal with it" means," Floyd contends. "The human atrocities need to cease now. Yes, we want those atrocities to cease, and how to do that is obviously not up to the Southern Baptist Convention, it is up to the President of the United States and other leaders around the world."
If the president and other world leaders fail to take action to stop ISIS, Floyd fears that ISIS will only continue to grow and more people will fall victim to ISIS' cruel brand human mistreatment.
"I think it is pretty obvious what has happened already and it will continue to grow and expand, and more people will be displaced from their homes, threats will be made and the world will live in an element of fear and danger," Floyd added. "The intimidating actions will affect a lot of lives in the future if it is not dealt with."
See the full text from Floyd's letter to Obama below:
Dear President Obama:
Since ISIS is a continuing threat to world peace in a way unknown to us since the Nazis of World War II, we humbly call upon you to use the influence and power of your distinguished office to take the necessary actions now in this urgent hour to bring an end to these human atrocities. The abuse, brutalization, and murder of children, women, and men that is occurring before the world calls our country to lead forward to bring this to an end.
As you do this, please know that we are not only praying for you, but assure you that you will have the unequivocal support of the vast majority of America's largest, and some say most multi-ethnic and multi-lingual, Protestant denomination in America. The world will applaud your courage and compassion as you defend those that Scripture calls "the least of these."
Mr. President, just as Esther led forward for the deliverance of the Jews in her day, we believe you also "have come to the kingdom for such a time as this." You have been given an historical moment to lead in protecting the people and the principle of religious freedom in the world. We are praying for you to have wisdom and courage in this hour.
These former presidents of our Convention join me, the current President of the Southern Baptist Convention, in making this humble, but urgent appeal to you.
Sincerely and Prayerfully,
Ronnie Floyd, President
Southern Baptist Convention
Bailey E. Smith, 1980-1982
James T. Draper, Jr., 1982-1984
Charles F. Stanley, 1984-1986
Jerry Vines, 1988-1990
Morris H. Chapman, 1990-1992
H. Edwin Young, Sr., 1992-1994
James B. Henry, 1994-1996
Tom Elliff, 1996-1998
Paige Patterson, 1998-2000
James Merritt, 2000-2002
Jack Graham, 2002-2004
Bobby Welch, 2004-2006
Frank S. Page, 2006-2008
Johnny M. Hunt, 2008-2010
Bryant Wright, 2010-2012
Fred Luter, 2012- 2014