Friday, May 12, 2017

Pence At Conference On Persecution of Christians Says ISIS Is Guilty of Genocide

Vice President Mike Pence delivered a nearly 25-minute speech yesterday in Washington, D.C. at the first-ever World Congress of Persecuted Christians. (Full text of remarks). (Press release from Liberty Counsel.) The event is sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  At one point in his prepared remarks, he said:
I believe ISIS is guilty of nothing short of genocide against people of the Christian faith, and it is time the world called it by name.
It is not clear whether he was announcing a formal labeling of ISIS activities as "genocide" which would then trigger obligations under the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.

Here are additional excerpts from the Vice President's speech:
I’m here on behalf of the President as a tangible sign of his commitment to defending Christians and, frankly, all who suffer for their beliefs across the wider world.  I stand here today as a testament to President Trump’s tangible commitment to reaffirm America’s role as a beacon of hope and light and liberty to inspire the world....
The reality is, across the wider world, the Christian faith is under siege.  Throughout the world, no people of faith today face greater hostility or hatred than the followers of Christ.  In more than 100 countries spread to every corner of the globe –- from Iran to Eritrea, Nigeria to North Korea –- over 215 million Christians confront intimidation, imprisonment, forced conversion, abuse, assault, or worse, for holding to the truths of the Gospel.  And nowhere is this onslaught against our faith more evident than in the very ancient land where Christianity was born....
In Iraq, at the hands of extremists, we’ve actually seen monasteries demolished, priests and monks beheaded, and the two-millennia-old Christian tradition in Mosul virtually extinguished overnight.  In Syria, we see ancient communities burned to the ground.  We see believers tortured for confessing Christ, and women and children sold into the most terrible form of human slavery.
Know today with assurance that President Trump sees these crimes for what they are: vile acts of persecution animated by hatred -- hatred for the Gospel of Christ.  And so too does the President know those who perpetrate these crimes.  They are them the embodiment of evil in our time.  He calls them by name -- radical Islamic terrorists....
But to be clear, adherents of other religions across the world have not been spared.  And we will speak for them and pray for them as well.  For as history attests, persecution of one faith is ultimately the persecution of all faiths.