US House Unanimously Condemns Genocide of Middle East Christians, Minorities

Pressure Builds on White House to Properly Characterize ISIL Killings Following Adoption of Fortenberry-Eshoo Measure

WASHINGTON—With a vote of 393 to 0, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously condemned as genocide the ongoing ISIL/Da’esh crimes against Christians—including Armenians and Assyrians—as well as Yezidis and other religious minorities in the Middle East by adopting H.Con.Res.75, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

U.S. House adopts H.Con.Res.75, designating the ISIL crimes against Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq as genocide.
The U.S. House adopts H.Con.Res.75, designating the ISIL crimes against Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq as genocide.

“Armenian Americans welcome today’s U.S. House vote as powerful encouragement for U.S. leadership in ending genocidal attacks—many being committed by allies of Ankara’s—across the Middle East, and, more broadly, as a meaningful step toward elevating America’s response to genocide from a political choice to a moral imperative,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.  “For far too long, U.S. leaders have treated the recognition of genocide—very notably the Armenian Genocide—as a geopolitical commodity to be bartered or bargained away. We can, as Armenian Americans, be proud of our efforts to support H.Con.Res.75 and advance the core principal behind this legislation that America’s stand against genocide must be unconditional.”

H.Con.Res.75 was spearheaded by the co-chairs of the House Caucus for Religious Minorities in the Middle East, Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nev.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), both of whom offered powerful remarks following passage of the measure.  Eshoo made specific reference to her Armenian and Assyrian ancestry, noting the importance of House reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide.  The ANCA will be offering complete video coverage of her remarks.

House passage of the measure is timed just days before a March 17 deadline, when the Obama Administration will be offering its official determination on the matter.  The administration has been under increasing pressure from U.S. religious leaders and human rights and civic groups—led by In Defense of Christians (IDC), the Knights of Columbus, and the International Religious Freedom Roundtable and supported by the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the ANCA, and more than 100 organizations—to properly characterize the attacks against Christians in Syria and Iraq as “genocide.”

Last week the Knights of Columbus and IDC issued a 300-page report detailing the genocide against Christians in the Middle East.

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