As you are aware, the religious minorities including but not limited to Christians, Baha’is, Yazidis, and Mandeans have come under brutal attacks perpetrated by Muslims in Near East and South Central Asian countries. Iraqi Christians (Assyrians also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs, and the Armenian community) and Egyptian Copts have suffered direct religious and ethnic persecution; murder, torture, kidnapping, and forced eviction from their homelands. Since 2003, over 80 Churches in Iraq have been bombed and approximately one million Assyrians have become refugees, living in sub-human conditions. Countless Coptic women have been forced into conversion while thousands of Christian homes have been set on fire in Egypt. In Iran, the Baha’i community has lost many of its sons and daughters defending its faith.
Gravely concerned over this matter, Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia introduced House Resolution 440 in the spring of 2011, seeking to establish the position of Special Envoy, which would promote religious freedom in the Near East and South Central Asian countries. The responsibilities of this special envoy include but are not limited to monitoring and combating acts of religious intolerance and incitement targeted against such religious minorities and ensuring the needs of such religious minority communities are addressed, including economic and security needs directly tied to religious-based discrimination and persecution.
This House resolution was accepted overwhelmingly and was sent to the Senate for approval. Senate Bill 1245 (House Resolution 440), introduced by Senators Blunt and Levin was read twice and was submitted to the Committee of Foreign Relations. This Bill, which may be cited as “Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act of 2011”, has been stalled since June, 2011.
We ask for your help at this crucial juncture in time as the deadline is fast approaching. Please sign this petition before December 18, and call the office of Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in Boston at 617- 565-8519 and/or in Washington DC at 202-224-2742 and ask the Senator to support us. Let him know that this is a vital bill which must be passed in order for the US to protect the one sacred value which we as American citizens hold dear; the freedom to practice one’s religion without the fear of discrimination or persecution.
For more information on this important bill, please click the links below: H.R. 440 S.1245 To sign the petition, please click PETITION and then click on the Allow button which will appear on your screen.
To sign the petition, please click PETITION and then click on the Allow button which will appear on your screen.
We thank you for being the voice of so many who are voiceless.
David William Lazar Ismat Karmo
American Mesopotamian Organization Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Council of America
25379 Wayne Mills Place – Suite 345 5750 Old Orchard Road Suite 340
Santa Clarita, CA USA 91355 Skokie, IL 60077
Phone – 323-454-2237 Phone – 847-470-1600