Rubio: U.S. Must Help Displaced Christians
December 12, 2017
Speaking Monday at the Third International Conference on Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C., Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who serves as both chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Human Rights and as a member of the Helsinki Commission, said persecution of Christians is on the rise and the U.S. must act.
The senator noted during his speech that in 2015, the most recent year for which the State Department has statistics, more than 7,000 Christians died for their faith. That didn’t include he millions more who were attacked, imprisoned, and forcibly displaced due to their religious beliefs.
The problem, he added, won’t end with the “eventual military defeat of Islamic State.”
“We must move on with a sense of urgency … No faith and no region are untouched, but it is the persecution of Christians which has reached staggering levels. The full measure of human suffering exacted against these innocent people of faith remains truly incalculable. As it relates to ISIS atrocities, they have rightly been called genocide by the Obama administration and also the Trump administration. But words alone are hollow unless action follows and we must be moved to action to preserve the very cradle of our faith.
If the United States fails to take meaningful steps to support these communities, including ensuring their access to humanitarian assistance and resources they need to rebuild, even more of them will be forced to abandon their ancient homeland.”
Rubio said the issue of religious liberty is a deeply personal one for him. He also applauded Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming trip to the Middle East, which he said would highlight the plight of Christians and ethnic and religious minorities in the region.