The Christian Post reports, “Religious leaders across different faiths joined together with Open Doors, a ministry that serves persecuted Christians around the world, on Monday to call attention to the systematic ‘extermination’ of Iraqi Christians.”
Dr. Carl Moeller, CEO and president of the evangelical Open Doors USA, urged Congress to pass House Resolution 1725, a measure introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.) last month that calls on the U.S. government to work with the Iraqi government to strengthen its security plan for religious minorities and accelerate the resettlement applications of Iraqi refugees. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on International Justice and Peace also supports the measure.
It is estimated that an exodus from Iraq of over half of Iraq’s Christians has occurred since 2003 due to targeted terrorist attacks and severe government discrimination against them. In a reference to the bombings of synagogues in the 1940s that drove out virtually all of Baghdad’s then-large Jewish population, the Post quotes Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, director of Interfaith Affairs at the Simon Weisenthal Center as saying that “the systematic campaign of persecution of Iraqi Christians is ‘deja-vu’ to what happened to the Jews of Iraq.”
— Nina Shea directs the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom and co-authored the forthcoming book Silenced (Oxford University Press), on contemporary blasphemy rules.