While continuing to enjoy their Christmas vacation in Hawaii, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama issued a statement acknowledging the suffering of persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
The Obamas pointed out that during the season of Advent, Christians around the world were preparing to celebrate Christmas – and signaled solidarity with the persecuted.
“Michelle and I are also ever-mindful that many of our fellow Christians do not enjoy that right, and hold especially close to our hearts and minds those who have been driven from their ancient homelands by unspeakable violence and persecution,” the statement read.
The Obamas acknowledged that there were currently areas in the Middle East where church bells have been silenced as a result of religious persecution and oppression.
“This silence bears tragic witness to the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL,” they said, promising to pray for the afflicted.
The statement concluded by citing the lyrics from the Christmas carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”
“As the old Christmas carol reminds us: The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.”