Following the release of a video Sunday by the Islamic State group (ISIS) showing the execution of 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya, Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry along with The Simon Wiesenthal Center's Associate Dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, and Director of Interfaith Issues, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, issued the following call for action:
"Our teams at Open Doors and The Simon Wiesenthal Center are heartbroken over the news that 30 Ethiopian Christians were viciously executed in Libya. We have been warning Western governments for months that a religious genocide of Christians was taking place. While we welcome the White House acknowledgement that these victims were targeted because of their faith, much more needs to be done.
"First, the Administration should recognize the centrality of religious extremism to ISIS' terrorist activities and publicly acknowledge that theologically fueled hatred is at the heart of this conflict.
"Second, America must lead the way in combating such genocidal hatred and, together with its NATO allies, forge an action plan to protect endangered Christian communities across the Middle East.
"We must not stand idly by and watch as thousands of Christians are murdered for their faith. If Americans truly value freedom of religion, let us hold that value high and demand more be done to protect religious freedom around the world. Governments and NGOs should treat the rights of religious minorities as core human rights. This truth must motivate our nations. If we fail to counter ISIS' religious Nazi ideology, it will continue to infect the hearts and minds of the ever-growing number of youth around the world, ultimately leading to more senseless persecution and bloodshed. The time to act is now."
About Open Doors USA
For 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted. Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit OpenDoorsUSA.org.
About The Simon Wiesenthal Center
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).
© 2015 Religion News Service. All rights reserved.
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