Persecution watchdog group Open Doors has accused the U.S. and world leaders of standing by and watching Christian genocide happen in 2014, following the release of its World Watch List of countries where followers of Christ are most heavily targeted. The group added that Christian persecution is very much a “leading indicator” of major humanitarian problems, such as the rise of terror group ISIS.
Open Doors CEO David Curry told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Wednesday that “there has been a genocide of Christians in Iraq, and the Western world stood by and watched it happen.”
He added that for 2015, he would like to see world leaders “understand that the persecution of Christians is a leading indicator, around the world, of major humanitarian problems. It’s not that Christians are collateral damage; it’s that they’re being targeted — and wherever they are being targeted, there are future problems.”
The newly released World Watch List ranks 50 countries where Christians face the most severe persecution for their faith. The majority of nations on the list are spread throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where hostilities toward Christians have risen in 2014.
One of the most notable news stories of 2014 has been the rise of terror group ISIS, which has captured large amounts of territory across Iraq and Syria, countries which find themselves ranked as No. 3 and No. 4 on the WWL, respectively.
ISIS has heavily targeted Christians and other religions minorities, often forcing people to convert to Islam, pay a tax or be killed for their faith. The terror group has emptied entire centuries–old Christian communities from several cities in the region.
The U.S. and a broad coalition of allies has responded by carrying out airstrikes against ISIS and other affiliated jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria, and they’ve supported regional forces fighting back against the terror group.
Curry told CP, however, that he hasn’t seen any actions taken by world leaders that’ve actually been able to help the affected refugees and persecuted people on the ground.
“I am very disappointed by the response of the U.S. government and State Department in the protection and advocacy for persecuted Christians,” he said. “The power and leadership vacuum within the United States has created a very dangerous situation in Iraq for Christians.”
“I’m not aware of any significant thing that has happened beyond trying to contain the borders of the Islamic State.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post