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Persecuted Christians | Resolutions

Substitute for resolutions 41,
42, 64, 72, 86, 100, 171, 181,
213, 216 and 309

In Solidarity with Persecuted Christians

      WHEREAS, Christians are suffering violent persecution around the world, especially in Iraq and Syria; and

      WHEREAS, the Christian community in Iraq once numbered over one million, but has now dwindled to an estimated 200,000, and is in danger of disappearing completely as the result of violence and armed conflict; and

      WHEREAS, the five-year civil war in Syria has led to the death of as many as 470,000 people, the displacement of 7.5 million people, and caused 4.8 million refugees to flee the country, including many Christians; and

      WHEREAS, Pope Francis has urged the international community to respond to this immense humanitarian tragedy; and

      WHEREAS, Pope Francis has spoken of the significant contributions Christians have made to the Middle East and the importance of their continued presence in the region; and

      WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus led an advocacy campaign to raise public awareness and to obtain recognition of the genocide occurring against Christians at the hands of the so-called Islamic State; and

      WHEREAS, this advocacy campaign consisted of organizing a petition drive, running print advertisements and television commercials, and advocating in private meetings with the United States Congress and Department of State; and

      WHEREAS, the Supreme Knight testified on behalf of persecuted Christians three times before the U.S. Congress as well as once before the United Nations; and

      WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus led a team of investigators to Iraq to gather evidence and eyewitness accounts of genocide and crimes against humanity that were then compiled and submitted to the State Department in a nearly 300-page report on March 10, 2016; and

      WHEREAS, on March 14, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to recognize the genocide occurring against Christians and other minorities, and on July 8, 2016, the U.S. Senate did the same with its own unanimous vote; and

      WHEREAS, the parliaments of the European Union and the United Kingdom, as well as the Iraqi Cabinet and Parliament, have voted to recognize that a genocide is occurring in Iraq and Syria; and

      WHEREAS, the Knights of Columbus established the Christian Refugee Relief Fund in 2014 and has since raised nearly $11 million in aid for displaced Christian refugees and other victims of genocide and religious persecution.

      NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus stands in solidarity with all Christians around the world who are suffering from violent persecution, and we call on all Christians and people of good will to do the same; and

      FURTHER RESOLVED, that we commend the nations protecting those seeking refuge from persecution in Iraq and Syria; and

      FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call on governments and legislative bodies around the world, including the United Nations, Canada, and all of the nations where we are active, to recognize the ongoing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities and to assist these persecuted communities; and

      FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Knights of Columbus pledges to continue to provide assistance to those who are victims of atrocities, especially those Christians who have been violently persecuted because of their faith.