The Philos Project Praises the State Department for Determining that the Islamic State is Committing Genocide in Iraq and Syria

By Monday, March 21, 2016

New York, NY – March 17, 2016 — This morning, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States has found the Islamic State guilty of carrying out genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria. “In my judgment, Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims,” Kerry said, using the Arabic term for the extremist group. “Daesh is genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology and by actions. In what it says, what it believes, and what it does.”

On March 9, The Philos Project – in a coordinated effort with the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, Assyrian Aid Society of America and the American Mesopotamian Organization – sent an open letter to Secretary Kerry and the State Department, calling on them to fully and unequivocally recognize the Islamic State’s campaign of genocide.

The Philos Project salutes the United States government for making the historic decision to find the Islamic State responsible for genocide. “We welcome Secretary Kerry’s recognition that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians and other minorities,” said The Philos Project Executive Director Robert Nicholson. “The Obama Administration definitely got this one right.

The Philos Project was grateful to play a part in this battle and we thank our partners the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, Assyrian Aid Society, and American Mesopotamian Organization, as well as our attorneys at Andrews Kurth LLP, for joining the fight with us.”

Today’s historic finding of genocide does not bring an end to the effort to help persecuted Christians, but a new beginning. Secretary Kerry called for the liberation of Iraq and Syria and security for the minority communities who want to return to their homes. That is precisely the path that The Philos Project supports. “What is needed are

safe havens for Assyrian Christians and other minorities in the Nineveh Plain of Iraq and in eastern Syria,” Nicholson said.

Philos Project Fellow and Iraqi Christian Relief Council President Juliana Taimoorazy called on the Obama Administration to create a refuge for the persecuted in their ancestral homeland. “Having this genocide officially recognized highlights the immediate funding needed to ease the real suffering felt by millions on the ground,” Taimoorazy said. “With renewed hope we continue to work on creating the right conditions for establishment of a safe haven for Assyrian Christians and other minorities in Iraq.”

“Only when these communities can protect themselves and determine their own fate will they be truly free,” Nicholson said. “The Philos Project is working tirelessly to ensure that Christians and all minorities of the Middle East are able to live in liberty and justice in their own lands.”

Nicholson and Taimoorazy are available for interviews.

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 about the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, please visit www.iraqichristianrelief.org.


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.