Organizations call on Secretary Kerry and the State Department to Recognize the Christian Genocide

By Sunday, March 20, 2016

New York, NY – March 9, 2016 — In response to a U.S. State Department investigation of the Islamic State’s genocidal crimes in Iraq and Syria, The Philos Project – in a coordinated effort with the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, Assyrian Aid Society of America and the American Mesopotamian Organization – calls on Secretary of State John F. Kerry and the State Department to fully and unequivocally recognize the so-called Islamic State’s unmistakable campaign of genocide against the Assyrian Christians in that  region.

After receiving a special request from The Philos Project, Andrews Kurth, LLP prepared a detailed and in-depth letter on behalf of the aforementioned organizations that clearly establishes that ISIS’ pattern of abuse, torture and murder against Assyrian Christians in Iraq and Syria meets all the criteria for genocide as laid out by the United Nations.

“As Americans, it’s our job to speak for them,” said The Philos Project Executive Director Robert Nicholson. “It’s the world’s obligation to step in and  protect people who are being targeted for genocide. Without that, things will only continue to get worse.”

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1951. This convention clearly defined genocide in legal terms: the deliberate attempt to destroy – in whole or in part – a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.


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The nearly 40-page letter, addressed directly to Secretary of State John F. Kerry, details not only ISIS’ destruction of Assyrian Christians churches and historical sites, but also lays bare many examples of ISIS atrocities against Assyrians in Iraq and Syria – all of which, the letter notes, is plainly intended to eradicate Assyrians and other Christians from the Middle East. “It’s a common misconception that genocide is just murder,” Nicholson clarified. “Genocide is a systematic attempt to destroy a people. Killing is the most obvious way to accomplish that. But it also includes an attempt to erase an entire people or race and destroy their culture and memories.”

According to Nicholson, the designation of ISIS’ acts against Assyrians and other Christians in Iraq and Syria as genocide will legally be the trigger that will force the signatories to the Genocide Convention to act on behalf of those suffering for their faith. “The most important thing is to prompt action by these governments to abide by their duty under this treaty,” he said. “ISIS is trying to cleanse the Middle East. They are attempting to liquidate an entire group of people.”

About The Philos Project:

  • Proclaiming friendship with those in the region who support liberty and justice for all peoples,
  • Reviving an intellectually rigorous Christian approach to foreign policy, especially as it relates to the Middle East;
  • Educating Christians on the theological, historical, and political issues surrounding Israel and the Jewish people; and
  • Empowering the church to advocate for real peace in tangible ways.

For more information, please visit www.philosproject.org.

For more information on the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, please visit www.iraqichristianrelief.org.
For more information on the Assyrian Aid Society of America, please visit www.assyrianaid.org.
For more information on the American Mesopotamian Organization, please visit www.americanmesopotamian.org.

Nicholson and Iraqi Christian Relief Council President Juliana Taimoorazy are available for interviews.


Juliana Taimoorazy




Luke Moon

Luke Moon is the Deputy Director of the Philos Project. Prior to that, Luke served as business manager for the Institute on Religion and Democracy, and, before that, as a missionary with Youth with a Mission for 12 years. Luke has lived, worked, and taught in over 45 countries, and has advocated on a number of human rights issues along the way. He holds a BA in Biblical Studies from the University of the Nations and an MA in Global Politics from Regent University. Luke is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister.