WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump signed a law on Tuesday combatting genocide of Christians in the Middle East, legislation supported by the Knights of Columbus and a broad array of faith-based organizations.
Christians are being systematically wiped out in Syria and Iraq, along with other religious minorities in parts of the Middle East. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) spearheaded the passage of H.R. 390, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018, which the president signed in an Oval Office ceremony. Both congressmen stood with the president as he signed the bill.
“The future of endangered religious and ethnic minorities targeted by IS for genocide, and pluralism in the Middle East, will depend on help from the United States,” said Smith.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson represented the Knights of Columbus in the ceremony. This Catholic fraternal order has allocated $20 million to provide relief to Christians and other religious minorities, including $2 million to rebuild Karamles, a town in Iraq that ISIS had destroyed.
“With the legislation signed today, America speaks with bold moral clarity and political unanimity,” said Anderson, adding for historical perspective that this law “reminds us of America’s earlier efforts to aid victims of genocide – Christian communities targeted by Ottomans a century ago and Jewish survivors of Shoah.”
The Knights of Columbus is the largest Catholic men’s service organization in the world.
President Trump’s representative to the Vatican, Ambassador Callista Gingrich, and Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq, were also present at the White House.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal editor for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.