The Syrian Archbishop of Aleppo, Jean-Clement Jeanbart, slammed Barack Obama and America’s Western allies for failing to help Christians fleeing persecution from ISIS.
America’s reluctance, according to Jeanbart, is “unjust” for Christians worldwide.
“If you like us, help us stay in Syria and Lebanon and Iraq and continue to be a presence of Jesus Christ in that part of the world,” Jeanbart said during a news conference in Philadelphia, at a Knights of Columbus event.
He was joined by the Iraqi Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Matti Warda, who urged Americans to “speak up for Christians in the Middle East.”
“They have been subject to all kinds of violence because they are Christians,” Warda said. “It is your responsibility–it is your duty to speak for them. This is part of being an American.”
The plight of Christians in ISIS-controlled lands in Syria and Iraq has been underplayed in the media over the past few years. But some Middle Eastern Christian communities date back over 2,000 years–to the time of Jesus.
When ISIS invaded the Iraqi city of Mosul last year, for instance–a city with a large Christian minority–they gave Christians just one night to leave their homes, or face death by behading. Many of those Christians had nowhere to go but refugee camps across the border.
Iraq has lost more than 1 million Christians–nearly 75% of its Christian population–over the last ten years. Few of them have been able to enter the U.S., due to America’s immigration policy.
Despite the Archbishops’ urgings, there seems little chance that Obama–or America’s allies–will take action to help save Middle Eastern Christians from persecution in the near future.