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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Council of Europe: ISIS is Committing Genocide against Religious Minorities

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Jan 29
  • Comments

The Council of Europe has officially recognized the Islamic State’s persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East as genocide.


Christian Today reports that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution entitled “Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq.” The report states that ISIS has “perpetrated acts of genocide and other serious crimes punishable under international law.”


The resolution passed 117 votes to one.


Under international law, genocide is considered the severest crime. The designation of genocide also has actual implications for Christians and other minorities being persecuted by ISIS as it will put pressure on the United Nations Security Council to also issue a genocide resolution which will encourage countries to take action to stop the genocide.


“[U]nder the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, countries are obliged to take positive action to prevent crimes of genocide,” according to Pieter Omtzigt, a member of the Council. 


The Council of Europe’s report also advised countries to “act on the presumption that Da’esh [another name for the Islamic State] commits genocide.”


The European Union will also hold a vote to determine whether ISIS is committing genocide in the Middle East on February 4. 


"Although the path is difficult, the aim must be to achieve a world-wide condemnation of the atrocities of ISIS at the ICC, just as happened with Srebrenica and Rwanda, so Christians in the Middle East can live free from the fear of persecution and death," said Sophia Kuby, Director of EU Advocacy for ADF (Alliance Defense Fund) International.” 



Publication date: January 29, 2016