The government of France has responded to a plea by Iraqi Christians for help as militant Muslims sweep across their nation, eliminating any evidence of Christianity in places like Mosul, where believers have lived for two millennia.
Meanwhile, there’s been virtual silence from the United States, where President Obama is focused on the tens of thousands of illegal aliens from Central America who are entering the nation through Mexico.
The silence continues despite multiple calls from members of Congress for action to help the persecuted Christians.
BBC News reported the French government was ready to offer asylum to Iraqi Christians forced to flee Mosul.
The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has attacked Christian churches, destroyed crosses and stripped Christians of their homes, businesses and belongings, ordering them to become Muslim or die.
Iraq now is mostly devoid of Christians in areas where they have lived for 2,000 years.
The BBC reported two top French ministers said, “We are ready, if they so desire, to help facilitate asylum on our territory.”
The joint message was from Laurent Fabius, foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, interior minister, in France’s Socialist government, BBC said.
In Mosul, where an estimated 60,000 Christians lived prior to 2003, the U.N. estimates just a handful of Christian families remain.
In the U.S., meanwhile, the Obama administration is asking for hundreds of millions of dollars to provide housing, food, education, medical services and even legal services for the tens of thousands of illegal aliens fleeing Central America.
Political opponents say the young illegals are coming because of messaging from the White House that if they rrive in the United States they will be granted numerous benefits.
Some of the illegals who have been fleeing gang-infested neighborhoods in Central America are being relocated to Chicago, one of the most violent and gang-infested cities in North America, officials have confirmed.
While members of Congress, especially Rep. Frank Wolf., R-Va., have repeatedly asked the administration to step up to help the Christians under threat of death in Iraq, there’s been virtually no formal action.
WND columnist Erik Rush noted Wolf’s concern over the “genocide” being carried out against Christians by ISIS.
“In Wolf’s estimation, and that of many Americans of conscience, the Obama administration’s failure to weigh in on this atrocity in any manner whatsoever is an abject disgrace. Although the U.S. Senate proposed on July 30 a resolution condemning the ‘religious cleansing’ in Iraq, such actions have few teeth and certainly aren’t any guarantee of broad policy changes,” Rush wrote.
Political commentator Kirsten Powers in a USA Today column asked whether anyone was listening to the pleas for help from Iraqi Christians.
“Since capturing the country’s second largest city of Mosul in early June, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has ordered Christians to convert to Islam, pay jizya taxes levied on non-Muslims, or die. The extremist Sunni group is also persecuting and murdering Turkmen and Shabaks, both Muslim religious minorities,” she wrote.
“For the first time in 2,000 years, Mosul is devoid of Christians,” she reported, noting that sources said ISIS took down Christian crosses, blew up the tomb of the prophet Jonah, and turned a cathedral into a mosque.
She noted it actually is the Kurds who have helped Christians so far. She quoted Wolf, who said: “President Obama should thank and encourage the Kurds for protecting the Christians. He also needs to provide (humanitarian aid), including funds for water and food.”
At the MercatorNet blog, Sheila Liagminas wrote: “This is an old story with new intensity. The elimination of Christians from their earliest homes is at epic proportions. My files on this go back years. In less than six months, they’ve more than doubled.”
She said there’s “too much to cover in one post on the effort by militants to eradicate Christians from Iraq alone, so look at the past week or so chronologically, when ‘Christian cleansing’ reached a new fierce, brutal, in some places final level.”
“Without much of the world even noticing,” she said.
“As recently as a decade ago, tens of thousands of Christians lived in Mosul, some of them descendents of victims of the genocide the Ottoman Empire perpetrated against Assyrians, as well as Armenians and Greeks, during World War I. After this weekend, virtually none remain. On Saturday, ISIS expelled the fifty-two Christian families still in the city, after first requiring them to leave behind all their valuables. For good measure, ISIS also burned an 1,800-year-old church and the Catholic bishop’s residence, along with its library and manuscript collection.”
“Meanwhile, what’s the U.S. government doing? Specifically, the president the world is watching? Nothing noticeable.”
Even though the strategy apparently was known, she said.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, just days ago told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer that he is working with Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., on a bipartisan plan to spark action in Washington.
“This is an effort to light a fire under the State Department to get them to do more to protect these religious minorities, including Christians, and to do so urgently before we lose more lives and have this additional purging,” Portman told Fox.
His resolution will urge Obama to reaffirm America’s dedication to religious freedom by “helping to create safe zones for refugees fleeing persecution,” he said.
There’s been a related move in the U.K. by church officials calling for an asylum there for Iraqi Christians.
Manchester Bishop David Walker told the Observer: “We would be failing to fulfill our obligations were we not to offer sanctuary. Having intervened so recently and extensively in Iraq, we have, even more than other countries, a moral duty in the U.K.”
WND earlier reported Islam analyst Theodore Shoebat, son of former PLO operative Walid Shoebat, said Muslims in Mosul were directly threatening Christians with a deadly choice, forcing them to pay a “jizya” tax, as prescribed by Islamic law, of $250 or more or be slaughtered.
“This type of tyranny is just one of many foreshadowing the impending holocaust of Christians,” Ted Shoebat said.
He noted church bells have been outlawed and “sex jihad” for women is commonly demanded by Muslims.