President acknowledges that bells will not ring in Mosul and other areas occupied by ISIS
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama issued Christmas greetings from the White House this week, saying they would add their prayers to those around the world who are praying for persecuted Christians in the Middle East
“Michelle and I hold … especially close to our hearts and minds those who have been driven from their ancient homelands by unspeakable violence and persecution,” the president said. “In some areas of the Middle East where church bells have rung for centuries on Christmas Day, this year they will be silent; this silence bears tragic witness to the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL.”
He used an acronym for the Islamic State group, which has occupied the city of Mosul and other Christian areas of Iraq and Syria for over a year.
“We join with people around the world in praying for God’s protection for persecuted Christians and those of other faiths, as well as for those brave men and women engaged in our military, diplomatic and humanitarian efforts to alleviate their suffering and restore stability, security and hope to their nations.”
The message comes just a couple of weeks after a House hearing where witnesses called on the U.S. State Department to include Christians in a statement purportedly being prepared on genocide in the Middle East.