President Obama has finally responded to the violence and persecution against Christians and other religious minorities by the barbaric militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The President has ordered airlifts of humanitarian aid to over 40,000 Iraqi religious refugees, said to be trapped in the mountains of Iraq and Kurdistan, and potential airstrikes to protect them and U.S. personnel still in Iraq. Another 100,000 displaced Christians are said to be fleeing elsewhere on foot.
Religious leaders in the U.S. have signed a “Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action” on behalf of Christians and other religious minorities in Egypt, Iraq, and Syria. The Pledge, spurred by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), highlights their concerns: “Now facing an existential threat to their presence in the lands where Christianity has its roots, the Churches in the Middle East fear they have been largely ignored by their coreligionists in the West… American religious leaders need to pray and speak with greater urgency about this human rights crisis.”
Christians need to pray for persecuted believers, here and around the world. We must also urge the Obama Administration to actively advocate to the international community the principles of religious freedom as a human right, as declared in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.