This evening in Paris, about 100 protestors gathered behind the French National Assembly to urge French legislators to take action. Demonstrators held up the Arabic letter nun, or "N," which the Islamic State painted on the homes of Christians in Mosul.
In Washington, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), a longtime champion in of religious freedom around the world, took to the floor of the House of Represenatives, saying the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities.
“Where is the Obama Administration?” he asked.
He pointed out that in June, 55 Members of Congress urged the Administration to "actively engage with the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to prioritize additional security support for especially vulnerable populations, notably Iraq’s ancient Christian community and provide emergency humanitarian assistance to those affected communities."
Wolf repeated a portion of the statement from early June: "Absent immediate action, we will most certainly witness the annihilation of an ancient faith community from the lands they’ve inhabited for centuries."
“It is happening. They are almost all gone—just as we predicted," he said today.
At the State Department, a reporter asked at Monday’s press briefing to clarify a statement issued on Friday about the situation Christians in northern Iraq are facing.
“In general, we’ve been very clear that we will help the Iraqi Government in its fight against ISIL writ large,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. “This is one part of that fight, certainly. We are working with them now, but I don’t have anything specific on that for you.”
She added, “We’ve also worked very closely with international organizations to address the humanitarian crisis in Iraq.”
The reporter quoted Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution who said that it would be “impossible to combat ISIS without a few more folks on the ground.
Harf responded that US military assessment teams “have provided a draft report. I know my colleagues at the Defense Department are looking at it to determine the best way to assist the Iraqi Government. We’re very committed to that. I would leave it to my colleagues there to talk in further detail about that.
John Burger is news editor of the English edition of Aleteia.org.