'It's Genocide,' Europe Says of Christian Slaughter by ISIS
The European Parliament has declared the wanton slaughter of Christians and other religious minorities by ISIS is tantamount to genocide.
In a historic move, members of Parliament passed a resolution this week calling the atrocities by the Islamic terror group "crimes against humanity" and calling for an investigation of their human rights abuses.
Members of the European Parliament say that what the Islamic terror group ISIS is doing to Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq amounts to "war crimes" and "genocide."
"It is very important to call it genocide, it's important because it is the truth," Nina Shea, with Freedom House, said. Freedom House has been documenting ISIS atrocities.
Click below to watch the entire interview with Shea.
"In the ISIS controlled territory, there is no evidence right now of any Christian life, all the Christians have either been killed or driven out. The Yazidis, thousands of them, their women are now sex slaves," Shea said.
The resolution by the European Parliament says those who intentionally commit atrocities for religious or ethnic reasons must be charged with crimes against humanity.
"If we take the solemn vow of 'never again' as we have since the Jewish Holocaust under the Nazis, we have to call it as such for the Christians," Shea said.
Former Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., who has for decades given voice to persecuted Christians around the world, welcomed the unanimous vote, saying it finally recognizes the pain and suffering of those living under constant ISIS threat.
"To call it 'genocide' would honor those who've been subject to genocide so we remember," Wolf said.
The plight of Middle East Christians is sobering. In Syria, the number of believers has plummeted from 1.2 million to less than 500,000.
In neighboring Iraq, roughly two-thirds of that country's 1.5 million Christians have either been killed or have been forced to flee ISIS.
Shea is now calling on the White House to follow the European Parliament's example and label what's happening to Christians in the Middle East as "genocide."
"There's a reluctance on the part of the administration to call it genocide against Christians," she said. "They have told us privately that they will call it genocide against Yazidis but not Christians."
On the other hand, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has already said that ISIS is committing genocide.
During a New Hampshire town hall in later December, Clinton said she was initially reluctant to use the word since it requires countries to take specific action to stop the genocide. Now, she's convinced otherwise.
"I'm sure now we have enough evidence that what is happening is genocide, deliberately aimed at destroying, not only the lives but wiping out the existence of Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in the Middle East in territory controlled by ISIS," she said.
The European Parliament resolution calls on the International Criminal Court to begin investigating violations by ISIS against Christians, Yazidis, and religious minorities.