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Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute, one of the world’s leading experts on the persecution of Christians and a key figure in gathering the evidence for the genocide declaration, told me that “President Trump needs his own appointees. This quiet revocation of the Kerry genocide determination pulls the rug out from under Christian and Yazidi minorities who are fighting pervasive discrimination in U.N. and U.S. aid programs and need prioritization.”
Maybe the president is unaware that this is happening; as Shea says, it is a “quiet revocation.” There have been no public statements that the genocide did not happen — but the word seems to be gone. Is it a conspiracy theory to imagine that this “quiet revocation” of such an important declaration might have an ideological motivation? If the president has been unaware of this — and we must give him the benefit of the doubt — it is now out in the open.
For someone who has pledged so publicly to support persecuted Christians and be their “greatest representative,” actions must now speak louder than words. The president must counter his legal adviser’s instructions, if indeed they were given — and once again affirm the fact of the genocide suffered by the Christians and other minorities. He must affirm it as U.S. policy — not a “personal belief.” A “personal belief” would not help a single persecuted Christian.
The horror of what happened in Iraq and Syria in recent years is etched on the faces of the Yazidi women who are still living in half-finished buildings in Erbil and to whom I spoke in March. Their daughters and mothers were kidnapped and sold into ISIS sex slavery. Their men were slaughtered. And this, apparently, was not genocide? The Christian men and women who had to abandon the villages and towns that have been Christian for nearly 2,000 years — who were told “convert or die,” and who saw babies hurled to the ground and killed by Islamist fighters — that, apparently, was not genocide.
If this administration, after all it has promised, abandons them — it is those victims who will one day stand in judgment of their betrayers.
Fr. Benedict Kiely is a Catholic priest and founder of Nasarean.org, which is helping the persecuted Christians of the Middle East. [lz_pagination]