April 2022 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Supporters,
On April 24, IDC solemnly commemorated the 107th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and the Kafno Famine-Genocide in Mount Lebanon, both atrocities committed by the Ottoman Turks.
On April 21, nearly one year after President Biden’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Genocide Education Act was officially introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Armenian Genocide Education Act is a bipartisan bill that would provide $10 million in funding for educational programs, through the Library of Congress, aimed at educating American society on the atrocities and lessons of the Armenian Genocide. Introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the Armenian Genocide Education Act is a necessary step to ensure this dark episode in history—the systematic extermination of millions of Armenians, Greeks, Syriacs (Assyrians, Chaldeans, Arameans, and Maronites) and other Christians—is not repeated. To write to your representative in support of the bill, please click here.
Also in April, IDC was pleased to witness the Biden Administration elect to to maintain the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) designation as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). This decision comes weeks after initial indications that the Administration was considering removing the IRGC’s terrorist designation, at the behest of Iran, as a condition for Iran’s return to the nuclear deal. Click here to read the IDC press release.
This month, IDC also applauded Congress’ permanent reauthorization of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, for which IDC has long advocated. The Global Magnitsky Act targets perpetrators of human rights abuses—including religious freedom violations—with tough sanctions.
On April 7, IDC was pleased to meet with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) U.S. delegation to discuss the culture of peaceful coexistence, and the status of Christians displaced from the Nineveh Plain by ISIS. I was particularly pleased to confer with a Syriac-Assyrian Member of KRG Parliament, Ms. Robina Mamlok, who represents Duhok Governate (Beth Nohadra). MP Mamlok provided an encouraging report on the KRG’s high prioritization of support for Christians and other religious minorities.
On April 22, IDC solemnly commemorated the ninth anniversary of the abduction of Archbishops Hanna Ibrahim (Syriac Orthodox) and Paul Yazigi (Greek Orthodox). The Archbishops were abducted in 2013—likely by ISIS-affiliated jihadists—in the countryside outside of Aleppo, while on mission to negotiate the release of other previously abducted clergy. His Eminence Archbishop John Kawak shared his reflections and words of hope in a video message on this somber anniversary. IDC Executive Director Richard Ghazal also appeared on the Son Rise Morning Show to discuss the case of the Archbishops.
We invite you to continue following the IDC Religious Prisoners of Conscience series. The monthly series highlights the harrowing stories of those imprisoned for their faith—clergy and lay, past and present. The series is aimed at raising awareness of their plight, and encouraging fellow Christians to pray steadfastly for their safety and return home. You can follow this series on IDC's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel.
As we’ve recently celebrated the Resurrection and concluded the holy Lenten season, we ask that you continue to pray for the universal Christian family, many communities of which face ever-growing persecution and violence. Also, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to IDC's efforts in advocating for persecuted Christian communities in the Middle East and around the world. Our work is dependent on your generosity!
President & Chairman