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USCCB: prelates express solidarity with Middle East’s Christians, other religious minorities

February 14, 2017

The chairmen of three committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by the chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services, expressed solidarity with the Middle East’s Christians and other religious minorities.

Archbishop William Lori (Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty), Bishop Oscar Cantú (Committee on International Justice and Peace), Bishop Joe Vásquez (Committee on Migration), and Bishop Gregory Mansour (Catholic Relief Services) stated:

A recent USCCB delegation visit to Iraq confirmed once again that what has happened—and continues to happen—to Christians, Yezidis, Shia Muslims, and other minorities in Syria and Iraq, at the hands of the so-called “Islamic State,” is genocide … A particular focus on minorities is essential to forming communities that respect the rights of all, including members of the majority.

The prelates called upon the US to “accept our nation’s fair share of the most vulnerable families of all religions and ethnicities for resettlement as refugees, including special consideration of the victims of genocide and other atrocities.”

The prelates also called for US development assistance to the region, including US assistance in strengthening the police and the judiciary in Iraq.

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