Washington DC — Advocates for Christians in the Middle East began their three-day convention with calls for recognizing the atrocities against Christians, Yazidis, and others in Iraq and Syria as genocide. A panel discussion held by In Defense of Christians (IDC) at the National Press Club featured Congressman Frank Wolf, Katrina Lantos Swett, Professor Robert Destro, Dr. Gregory Stanton, Aram Hamparian, and Kirsten Evans was unanimous in calling for the term “genocide” to be recognized by the U.S. and the international community.
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry also spoke, announcing that he had introduced a Congressional resolution on the House floor earlier in the day calling for the U.S. government to call what ISIL had done genocide.
“We are grateful to Congressman Fortenberry for his tireless leadership on this issue,” said IDC President Toufic Baaklini. “IDC fully supports this resolution and will work to gather support behind it.”
The National Press Club marked the first event of three days of events for IDC convention attendees, which will include meetings on Capitol Hill, inter-denominational panels, chapter organization, and a Solidarity Dinner on Friday, September 11, which will feature Ambassador David Saperstein, Carol Anderson, and others.
IDC board member and benefactor Antoun Sehnaoui, Chairman of Societe Generale de Banque au Liban (SGBL) urged the United States and the international community to quickly and decisively address the violence against Christians and all victims in the Middle East. “We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis of vast proportion,” said Sehnaoui. “With thousands of refugees fleeing their homes to seek safety in the West, the impact of this tragedy is finally now being felt around the world. It is time for the civilized world to protect and preserve all vulnerable communities in the Middle East.”