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New report details ‘genocide’ by Islamic State against Christians, minorities

The report includes a legal brief directed toward Kerry detailing the case for a genocide designation.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution in February stating that the Islamic State was “committing genocide against Christians and Yezidis and other religious and ethnic minorities who do not agree with the so-called ISIS/Daesh interpretation of Islam, and that this, therefore, entails action under the 1948 U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

The Knights of Columbus and the Washington-based In Defense of Christians began a petition campaign in late February asking Kerry to make a genocide declaration. The organizations said more than 50,000 people had signed on through 9 March.

The organization highlighted numerous Christian religious leaders and prominent people who signed the petition. Among them were Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace; Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association; Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles; Bishop A. Elias Zaidan of the Maronite Eparchy of Los Angeles; and Andrew Benton, president of Pepperdine University.

Archbishop Gomez explained his stance while lamenting the 4 March deaths of four Missionaries of Charity sisters and 12 other people killed by uniformed gunmen who entered the home the sisters operate for the elderly and disabled in Yemen, in a column for Angelus, the online edition of The Tidings, the archdiocesan newspaper.

“It is clear that what the so-called Islamic State is doing to Christians and other minority groups in Iraq and Syria fits the United Nations’ definition — violence and killing with ‘intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,’” he wrote.

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