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John Kerry: ISIS is Genocidal Against Christians

Secretary of State John Kerry officially acknowledges ISIS is targeting Christians for genocide.

Following months of urging from Christian leaders, Secretary of State John Kerry included Christians in a list of those being targeted for genocide by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

Speaking at the State Department on Thursday, Kerry stated, “[ISIS] is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians, and Shiite Muslims.”

In December, PE News reported that George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, was among 30 signatories of a letter urging Kerry to issue such a proclamation. The letter contended that the acknowledgement from the State Department would be a step toward enforcing the Genocide Convention, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948 in response to the Holocaust.

Kerry’s statement followed a unanimous resolution passed on Monday by the U.S. House of Representatives, which also labeled the attacks by ISIS as acts of genocide against Christians in the region.

In response to Kerry’s acknowledgment of atrocities against Christians, Wood expressed his gratitude, while encouraging believers to fervently pray for those who are suffering for the cause of Christ.

“I am pleased by Secretary Kerry’s acknowledgment today of the brutal persecution Christians have endured at the hands of ISIS. I urge believers to unite in prayer for those suffering displacement, great loss, torture, and even death for their faith in Christ.”

While issuing the statement, Kerry made clear that he is “neither judge, nor prosecutor, nor jury” in making an official proclamation of genocide—a duty he assigns with an international court or tribunal. Instead, he says the United States will “strongly support efforts to collect, document, preserve, and analyze the evidence of atrocities” among those groups the State acknowledged today.

Mark Forrester

Mark Forrester is the senior director of Public Relations and Communications for the General Council of the Assemblies of God. He is a graduate of Lee University and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He is general editor of Trending Up: Social Media Strategies for Today's Church. Mark and his wife, Janine, have two children and live in Springfield, Missouri.