Focus on the Family is pleased to learn that an important new law protecting the rights of persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East has been signed into law by President Trump.
The law, known as the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018, authorizes the State Department to provide humanitarian assistance to religious minorities who have been the targets of genocide in those countries. It also authorizes assistance to any entities that criminally prosecute those suspected of committing genocide, wars against humanity or war crimes in Iraq and Syria.
The genocide committed against Christians in Iraq, for example, has been lethally effective. Whether killed or driven from the country because of the killings, the number of Christians living in Iraq has dropped from an estimated 800,000 to 1,400,000 in 2002 to fewer than 250,000 in 2017.
The law was championed by former U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) who for much of his 34 years in Congress, as well as the years since, has worked tirelessly for the cause of international religious freedom. Wolf has been a past guest on the Focus on the Family daily broadcast, and we are truly appreciative of his ceaseless work on behalf of persecuted religious minorities around the globe. Our thanks also goes to Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) who sponsored this bill and fought to bring Rep. Wolf’s vision to reality.