Obama and the GOP are colluding with the genocide of Christians in the Middle East – Marcos Carvalho/TheHill
In 1915, the Ottoman Turks slaughtered 1.5 million Christians during what came to be known as the Armenian Genocide. Although the majority of the victims of that genocide were indeed Armenian Christians, some were also Greek and Syrian Christians. In 2015, as we mark one century of the Armenian Genocide (and in this “we” I do not include President Obama, who continues to refuse to recognize the genocide in order to not offend our Turkish NATO allies), a new genocide of Christians is happening right before our eyes.
As a matter of fact, the Vatican is already calling the slaughter of Christians in Syria and Iraq by its proper name: a genocide. John Pontifex, from the Aid to the Church in Need organization reported to Vatican Radio that there is a systematic killing of Christians in the hands of ISIS and the destruction of Christian churches, chapels, and sanctuaries as an attempt to entirely wipe out Christian culture from the Middle East.
Obama stated that there should be no “religious test” for refugees. This is a completely disingenuous statement because absolutely no one who is advocating for the resettlement of Christian refugees in the U.S. has demanded such a test. We, who are trying to keep an ancient and unprotected population of Christians from being wiped out, are only asking that Christian refugees be given priority. President Clinton will always be remembered as the president who ignored the genocide in Rwanda; Obama’s legacy will be that he ignored the genocide of Middle Eastern Christians.
The danger to Middle Eastern Christians is clear and present. Even in Turkish refugee camps the Christians are targeted for murder. Their safety and survival is in our hands. The president’s refusal to recognize the genocide of Christians is enabling ISIS to complete their project of total annihilation of Christian life in the Middle East. Any world leader today who would really want to prevent this modern day genocide ought to go before the General Assembly of the United Nations and denounce it for what it truly is.
Furthermore, across America, GOP governors are refusing any new Syrian refugees into their states. These are governors who have campaigned wearing their Christian faith on their sleeves. How can they turn away the oldest Christian community in their greatest time of need? Syrian Christians pray in Aramaic, the language of Christ. When we say the Lord’s Prayer, we are uttering words in English that were translated from Latin, which were in turn translated from Greek, which were first translated from Aramaic. Syrian Christians meanwhile pray using the exact words Jesus spoke.
To deny these Christians succor is to turn away Jewish refugees during the Holocaust all over again. Each one of these refugees is in a very real sense Christ. To deny the Christian refugees’ suffering and to close our doors to them is to witness Christ’s suffering, torment and pain on the cross at Cavalry, and to turn our heads away and say “no.”
Carvalho is a graphic designer, illustrator, motion graphics designer and author who lives in the DC metropolitan area.