Aderholt Secures Language to Help Christians & other Religious Minorities Fleeing Genocide in Syria and Iraq
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) today released the following statement in regard to his efforts to help stop the genocide, rape and torture of Christians and other religious groups in ISIS held territories.
“I am pleased to report that I have been able to secure language in the House Appropriations Committee to provide targeted humanitarian assistance to Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities who are attempting to flee the war-torn and ISIS controlled areas of Syria and Iraq.
“Most of us have seen the images of the thousands of people who are fleeing the Syrian Civil War and escaping from the deadly reach of ISIS. While most of the attention has been focused on those of the Muslim faith, Christians and other groups are actually at the top of ISIS’ “hit list” in that region and need protection.
“President Obama has stated an intention to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States this year. It is in the best interest of our country to ensure that these groups being targeted for genocide are among those who are being aided in this process.
“Before civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, 10% of the population there were Christian. Since then, the U.S. has resettled just over 70 Christians. Why? There are documented reports that Christians and others are targets of violence, rape, and killings, even in the camps run by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The people who need help are unable to access it. We must do better.
“It is urgent – morally, and also in terms of national security – to ensure that the refugee program protects families whose religious or ethnic background has made them the target of organized persecution and genocide.
“The language I was able to secure in this legislation will, among other purposes, help provide secure locations where Christians can safely register for refugee resettlement assistance.
“As a nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, we are called upon to help our brothers and sisters whose lives and safety are jeopardized. But like you, I strongly believe that taxpayer dollars must be spent responsibly and with strong oversight, especially when these dollars are going overseas for foreign aid. This new language does not add new money, but will instead focus our limited resources on those who need it most.
In Washington, Congressman Aderholt serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the powerful House Appropriations Committee; he is also a member of the Committee’s Defense Subcommittee, the Committee’s Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee, and the Helsinki Commission.