Religious minorities displaced in Iraq and Syria will have more help after President Donald Trump signed the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act.
The act is being praised by human rights activists and religious leaders, saying the bill will help Christians and other religious minorities facing violence and persecution in Iraq and Syria.
“We hope that this will mean that we will now begin a time of sustained and clear help to our struggling minorities and also that we will see a focus on true justice and accountability for what has happened,” Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, Iraq, whose archdiocese is responsible for aiding thousands of Christians displaced in Kurdistan, told The Christian Post.
Under the act, the government can fund nonprofits, charities and non-governmental groups, such as faith-based groups. The act also directs the government to address humanitarian needs in those areas.
Trump signed the act this weeks surrounded by religious leaders in the Oval Office.
Said Warda: “I said to him ‘Mr. President, we need to implement this bill as soon as possible and I know you can do it because you are a man who gets things done.’ He answered me directly ‘We will.’”
The bill had passed unanimously through the Senate in October and unanimously through the House in November.
According to reports, the Christian population in Iraq has fallen from 1.5 million in 2003 to about 20,000.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.