“For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight” (Psalm 72:12-14).
The United States government has given persecuted groups in the Middle East an early Christmas gift.
On December 11, 2018, President Donald Trump signed H.R. 390, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2018. The Act passed both houses of Congress unanimously. According to the White House, the Act “’directs humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery assistance toward ethnic and minority individuals in Iraq and Syria, including individuals at risk of persecution or war crimes,’ and ’directs the State Department to encourage foreign governments to identify and prosecute individuals suspected of committing crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide, or war crimes, including members of foreign terrorist organizations operating in Iraq or Syria. ’” According to Forbes.com, the Act is intended “’to provide emergency relief to victims of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Iraq and Syria, [and] to provide accountability for perpetrators of these crimes…’”
Following the genocidal acts committed by ISIS and the ensuing military action to destroy its so-called Islamic Caliphate, much of Iraq remains desolate and uninhabitable. In July of this year, World Vision estimated that Iraq’s population included more than three million displaced persons. Those persons include Muslims, Christians, and Yazidis. Efforts to rebuild there are complicated by the presence of land mines and the lack of building materials. The Act will make money available to assist in the reconstruction effort.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms applauds the passage of the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act and prays that it will help those who lost their homes and communities because of ISIS to rebuild their lives.