Persecuted Christians | October 2019
Juliana Taimoorazy, Iraqi Christian Relief Council
IRAQ – Juliana
The second in command General was forced to step down and his supporters took to the street. Two other groups went to the streets. There is a lot of confusion but the people wanted the current government to be replaced by the military. They were asking for U.S. to step in and we have not at this time. Christians have held a prayer vigil for God’s leadership.
Erdogan wants a 20 mi buffer zone between Turkey and the Kurds. Christians are ringing church bells warning that Turkey is coming. It is very unclear of what will happen. The release of 10,000 Isis fighters by Turkey means major problems and major problems for Christians and others in the region.
Frank Gaffney asked: There are reports that Christians are being targeted. Have you heard this? (Article sent after the call by Juliana. – Syrian Christians are Suffering in Silence)
Juliana – This is not true at this time but the Christians are having casualties. Erdogan wants to expand the Ottoman empire.
Mark Christian, Global Faith Institute- encouraged the US to have strong borders with all of this unrest. Kurds are looking for independence. Helping them do this would cause a lot of uncertainty. The situation may not be as bad as some think.
Juliana- the people there are under the oppression of the Kurds and she supported Mark’s statement
Mark reminded us that Obama gave the Kurds a lot of weapons. Kurds in Syria are not the same as the ones in Iraq. Those in Iraq did not care for Christians.
Ken Timmerman, author- pointed out that Trump never stated that we would support Kurd’s desire for national independence. What will happen to the 10,000 Isis fighters is of great concern. He is concerned that Turkey will rearm them and send them out to kill all of those that oppose the development of the Turkish government.
Dede Laugesen, STPC – read an article indicating that Turkey has started a religious war against other religions
Juliana Taimoorazy- Journalist are being cracked down on.
Peggy Dau, Iran Alive – She sees tragic victims from the war. She shared about her family involved in defending the US from WW II. We do not need to keep sending our young men over and over again to the Middle East.
Allen Morris, Concerned Methodists – Shared he is a combat vet and he believes we need a draft again. He supports removing the troops.
Frank Gaffney, STPC – interrupted the conversation to get us back on track…..
[From Mindy Belz – Globe Trot 101019]
Turkish forces launched a bombing campaign across northeastern Syria on Wednesday, targeting civilian areas and killing Syriac Christians. Turkish bombardments appeared to target Christian sites and neighborhoods, including Mar Gorgios Assyrian Church in Qameshli and the town of Nusaybin, actually in Turkey but containing the oldest church in the region. At least two children are reported dead and four injured. But one family first reported killed appears to have survived. Residents in Qamishli told me they’ve not heard bombings since Wednesday at 11:30 p.m.
President Donald Trump can’t say he didn’t know: A January 2018 Turkish offensive displaced about 167,000 Kurds, Yazidis, and Christians—and Turkey has occupied that territory since. On Tuesday I spoke with Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet about the likelihood of the assault and stakes for Christians in the area. Genocide Watch has renewed a genocide warning, saying “Kurds, Christians, and Yezidis in Northeast Syria are at grave risk of genocide by the armies of Turkey and Syria.” (See map.)
Bob Fu, ChinaAid
Bob Fu – Last week, the Commerce Dept. placed sanctions on 28 groups in China. This is the most serious and comprehensive sanctions against China since Tiananmen Square. These leaders will be denied visas into the US.
The reactions of China to the NBA regulating Freedom of speech. Forced the NBA to be silent against the groups in HK… restricting freedom of speech in the US. There is an offer of 100 free tickets to an NBA game in Brooklyn if you are willing to wear “Free Hong Kong” t-shirts. [Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-hong-kong-nba-game-tickets-76385271403; Password FreeHongKong]
Frank G.- we are enabling much of the behavior through underwriting loans to Morgan Stanley’s capital index fund. Please sign the petition at PresentDangerChina.org against offering a large amount of new money so China can expand. The thrift savings plan…is the federal worker’s retirement fund.
Kyle Olbert, East Turkistan Awakening Movement – The 28 entities sanctioned by the U.S. is a good start but needs to be expanded. China retaliated by placing bans on groups from the U.S. that are related to some of the work that we are doing could be caught up in the bans. Muslims are not the only ones in reeducation camps. Christians, moderate Hans, and others are also being held.
Stephen Enada, International Committee on Nigeria
Stephen E- Reported on the upcoming visit of H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo. The former president of Nigeria is coming in on Saturday morning. He is aware of our work and terrorism against Christians. He plans to communicate the genocide against Christians. There is a dinner at the press club on Oct 14., another meeting at the Willson Center and the Hudson Institute the next day. He will encourage the sending of an Envoy to Nigeria.
Frank G. – has contacted Pompeo and VP Pence about visiting with Obasanjo. He has not heard from them
Frank- Nigeria is a priority for the Commission on Religious Freedom
Dede- six girls kidnapped this week from Nigeria. Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State revealed in a CBN article that Boko Haram and Fulani are now working together and plan to attack for schools as “this is what makes the news.” She asks, how does El-Rufai know their motives?
Kyle Olbert, East Turkistan Awakening Movement & Frank Gaffney, STPC
Kyle-At this week’s International Religious Freedom Roundtable, USCIRF released a Victims Database for victims of religious persecution. Go to the USCIRF.gov database to learn more. Visit this link to add to the list.
Dede-Only 126 people on the tracker at this time. They are looking for additional names and countries that need to be added. Most on the list are Muslims or Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Salih- If you have information on cases of religious persecution but the person has been charged for other crimes, like terrorism, etc., they should still be submitted.
Dede- Very few are Christian. STPC will be working with groups to submit persecuted people. Only a few countries are represented at this time. Countries like Nigeria, Pakistan, India, and North Korea are among those missing.
Doug B- Do we know why they are not tracking victims in Nigeria?
Frank- No. But, a key leader off the record stated that Nigeria is a high priority.
Dede- is reaching out to contacts in Nigeria, Pakistan, and India to submit info to the USCIRF database. As this is a U.S. Commission, it may be best to submit via a known U.S. organization like STPC.
Frank- New and urgent issue is the re-authorization of the commission for religious freedom. They were told this week that the language in the continuing resolution does not re-authorize it for very long. There is a concern that this new language would reduce the commission to a group with no power or strength. We will need to check on this and report back.
Will Rogers, 7 Innocents of Kandhamal
Frank- Hindu nationalists have set a goal to remove all Christians and Muslims by 2021. This is a serious concern in dealings with China.
Will-This information is being spread across the US. Is very young in the process. The Trump organization has ties with the BJP and the RSS in India, Hindu nationalists of the Hindutva which is responsible for the growing persecution in India. It appears that the Indian government has a built lot contacts and influence within the Trump administration. Will Rogers and Anto Akarra, an Indian Journalist are trying to awaken the Trump administration about rising and historic Christian persecution in India.
God is working in major ways behind the scene with a number of different ways.