(By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post). The United States has detailed the atrocities suffered by Christians and other minorities at the hands of the Islamic State terrorist group, specifically calling it genocide, in the Trump administration’s first International Religious Freedom Report, released Tuesday.
“ISIS has and continues to target members of multiple religions and ethnicities for rape, kidnapping, enslavement, and death. ISIS is clearly responsible for genocide against Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims in areas it controlled,” Secretary of State Rex. W. Tillerson wrote in the report.
“ISIS is also responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups, and in some cases against Sunni Muslims, Kurds, and other minorities. The protection of these groups – and others who are targets of violent extremism – remains a human rights priority for the Trump Administration.”
The annual study by the U.S. Department of State provides an update on the religious freedom situation in 199 countries around the world, exploring the different forms and levels of persecution people of various faiths and ethnic groups are being subjected to.
Tillerson said at the release of the report that “almost 80 percent of the global population live with restrictions on or hostilities to limit their freedom of religion.”
“Where religious freedom is not protected, we know that instability, human rights abuses, and violent extremism have a greater opportunity to take root,” he warned.
Related article: US to Do More for the Middle East’s Persecuted Minorities