The U.S. State Department reportedly sent a message to Assyrian Christians that their faith would not be a reason to grant them visas. Breaking Christian News reports a reverend who was trying to help a group of Assyrian Christians escape the constant danger of Iraq was told that the Christians would not be given the visa, though they had received permission to leave from their bishop.
The State Department reportedly told Rt. Rev. Julian M. Dobbs, "There is no way that Christians will be supported because of their religious affiliation.”
The news is troubling to Christian leaders, as religious minorities in Iraq are at risk of persecution since ISIS took control of parts of the nation, including the city of Mosul.
Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil said, "Christianity in Iraq is going through one of its worst and hardest stages of its long history, which dates back to the first century. Throughout all these long centuries, we have experienced many hardships and persecutions, offering caravans of martyrs. Yet 2014 brought the worst acts of genocide against us in our history."
Faith J.H. McDonnell lamented the situation at the State Department saying, "The State Department, the wider administration, some in Congress and much of the media and other liberal elites insist that Christians cannot be given preferential treatment. Even within the churches, some Christians are so afraid of appearing to give preferential treatment to their fellow Christians that they are reluctant to plead the case of their Iraqi and Syrian brothers and sisters."
Publication date: May 22, 2015