FaithZette

‘The Great New Martyrs’ 

Vermont priest calls out ‘slow-motion genocide’ by ISIS

The Islamic State is wiping out Christian communities that have existed in the Middle East for many hundreds of years, an outspoken Catholic priest said Tuesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

The Rev. Benedict Kiely, a Vermont priest and founder of nasarean.org, lamented that the bloodletting proceeds unabated while Americans are consumed by a football scandal involving New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and an Olympic icon’s gender switching.

“We need to know that our brothers and sisters are suffering greatly while we’re concerned about deflated footballs and Caitlyn Jenner and triviality,” he said. “The world seems to be ignoring it.”

ISIS has steadily expanded territory from the ashes of Syria and Iraq. In those conquered lands, it has imposed one of the harshest and most literal interpretations of the Quran, the Muslim holy book. The group has carried out beheadings of infidels, forced nonbelievers to convert or flee, and sold young girls into sexual slavery.

“We need to know that our brothers and sisters are suffering greatly while we’re concerned about deflated footballs and Caitlyn Jenner and triviality,” he said. “The world seems to be ignoring it.”

Kiely said that he came to activism on the ISIS issue after learning last summer while praying the Rosary in Stowe, Vermont, that Mass had stopped for the first time in 1,600 years after the fall of Mosul to ISIS forces in Iraq.

“I was just depressed,” he said. “I was sad.”

Kiely formed nasarean.org, which supports persecuted Christians under assault by radical Islam. He said bishops and other religious leaders need to be pressured to confront what he called a “slow-motion genocide” unfolding in the region.

“To ignore them was sinful, I would say,” he said. “They are the great new martyrs of the Middle East.”

Kiely referenced the small Christian community in Aleppo, Syria, which is surrounded by ISIS on three sides.

He compared the current crisis in the Middle East to the slaughter of one million Armenians in 1914. Had people known about that at the time, he said, they would have been complicit had they done nothing to respond.

“Now we know. It’s happening in front of us, literally almost on our TV screens,” he said. “And nothing is happening.”