The Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of the European Union (COMECE) welcomed the European Union Parliament’s decision to label the atrocities by the Islamic State (ISIS) against Christians as genocide.
“COMECE welcomes today’s European Parliament’s resolution as a significant step forward in facilitating measures to prevent the on-going incipient genocide against Christians and other minorities,” the bishops declared in a press release.
It is the “first time the body has recognized an ongoing conflict as a genocide.” The Parliament recommended that everyone “who intentionally commit[s] atrocities for ethnic or religious reasons should be brought to justice for violations against international law, crimes against humanity, and genocide.”
The Islamic State has slaughtered thousands of people as they expand their Caliphate across Syria and Iraq. People and organizations have suggested calling their actions genocide, but as Christian Today suggests, no one took the final step, “with one fear being that it would oblige outside bodies and agencies to take stronger action against the terror group.”
“It’s really important that the Parliament passed it, on a political level and a moral level. The significance is the obligations that follow by such a recognition,” explained Lars Adaktusson, Swedish member of the Parliament. “The collective obligation to intervene, to stop these atrocities and to stop the persecution in the ongoing discussion about the fight against the Islamic State.”
Last July, Pope Francis pleaded for the world to finally call the slaughter of thousands of Christians a genocide.
“Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus,” he declared. “In this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place, and it must end.”
The United Nations toyed with the idea that the group “may have committed” genocide and war crimes despite the overwhelming evidence.
ISIS militants abducted 88 Eritrean Christians in Libya. They also beheaded 21 Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach when one of the terrorists promised the group will conquer Rome. In July 2014, Andrew White, the vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq, told BBC Radio 4 that Christianity is coming to an end in the Middle Eastern country.
Charity group Barnabas Fund reported the group has tortured and crucified thousands of Christians in Syria. The country has lost over two-thirds of its Christian population since 2011, leaving them with 250,000. Militants attacked Assyrian Christian towns in northern Syria where they burned churches and captured more than 200 Christians. No one knows their fate. They even burned alive an 80-year-old Christian woman.
“It’s overwhelming. Eighteen months ago we said we will demand action,” said Nuri Kino, director of A Demand for Action. “Today, we can say with pride that we, a team of volunteers from all over the world, worked around the clock to make this happen. Now our goal is the U.N. Security Council. Action must be taken.”