Catholic World News May 08, 2015
The Islamic State is waging “an uncompromising war for a religious and territorial cleansing of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East,” the American director of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) said in a May 7 address to a Hudson Institute conference in New York.
Sarkis Boghjalian said that the Islamic State’s actions and ambitions can be classified as genocidal. “Today there are no Christians left in ISIS-held territories,” he pointed out.
Although world leaders have condemned ISIS atrocities, Boghjalian said, “there has been no effective action to put a stop to the violation of the fundamental human right of religious freedom; and to ensure that Christians and other minorities are given protection and safe haven.”
The ACN director observed that the Christian presence is endangered throughout the Middle East. In Iraq, the Christian population has dropped from over 1 million to about 300,000 in the past 12 years. In Syria, too, Christians make up a disproportionate number of the 3.5 million refugees who have fled the country.
“For the Christians in the Middle East, fear and a sense of abandonment is among the greatest crosses they have to bear,” Boghjalian said, calling for effective action by the Western world to protect the Christian presence.