Tags: Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Newsmax Prime | Chris Seiple | christians | iraq

Expert: Iraqi Christians Are 'Forgotten Minority'

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 08:51 PM

Christians are part of the "forgotten minority" in Iraq as the Islamic State (ISIS) continues to persecute them and drive them into hiding, one expert tells Newsmax TV.

Chris Seiple, the president of the Institute for Global Engagement, said his recent trip to Iraq was an eye-opening experience.

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"The Christians have no place to go, they have no opportunities for work and they have no opportunity to return," Seiple tells host J.D. Hayworth on "Newsmax Prime." "They're in the status quo and they are the forgotten minority.... It's just a terrible, terrible situation."

Seiple says Christians still practice their faith, but church bells have stopped ringing. They have fled to places like northern Iraq and Jordan, where ISIS has yet to establish itself, and worship together in "abandoned homes and abandoned buildings."

"They're just trying to survive as a community. They long to go home, but they will not go home unless they're protected by international forces to include the Americans," Seiple says. "They just don't trust anybody anymore because they've been persecuted and nobody stood with them, as Sister Diana has stated."

Sister Diana Momeka is an Iraqi Dominican nun who fled her convent in northern Iraq as ISIS approached and ended up in Kurdistan. The U.S. government initially denied her request for a visa to visit and talk about the persecution of Christians in Iraq, Newsmax TV viewers and Newsmax.com readers pressured the State Department until her visa request was granted and she testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this month.

"Newsmax made the first call to contact government officials, and I'm absolutely convinced that we wouldn't have seen the response that we saw had Newsmax not stepped up. I'm incredibly grateful for what you did," said author Johnnie Moore, a supporter of Sister Diana.

Seiple says the United Nations is not involved in the humanitarian crisis involving Christians. But he notes the organization is so overwhelmed with the millions of people who are fleeing cities, towns, and villages now occupied, or about to be occupied, by ISIS that it is simply stretched far too thin.

"This is the greatest humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II when the U.N. was created," Seiple says. "The number of refugees and internally displaced people in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan — their populations have gone up by 50 percent. Jordan is a country of 10 million and 5 million of them are refugees or internally displaced people. The same is true for 5 million in Kurdistan and Lebanon; 2.5 million refugees.

"Imagine if 150 million refugees came into America. They are completely and totally overwhelmed as a country, the U.N. is completely and totally overwhelmed, and we're in a situation where doing humanitarian aid, relief and development isn't good enough because you just keep the status quo."

The ultimate solution to the rising threat posed by ISIS and other terror groups might be one involving both political and military actions, Seiple points out.

"We need a political solution and at some point we need a military element to that political solution that not just degrades ISIS, but defeats them because they're an evil and they need to be removed," Seiple says. "How that's done is another thing, but that is the only thing that's going to keep Christians in the Middle East at this point and time."

An adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney, meanwhile, tells Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV the threat ISIS poses to the U.S. is at critical levels.

"We're in great danger. The longer this goes on, the higher the cost is going to be to us and our standing in the world and American blood will flow, I fear," says John Hannah, who served as Cheney's deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration, on Thursday's "Steve Malzberg Show."

"We're not waging the war that the president declared nine months ago was vital to our interest and in the process, we're also handing this show over to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which will be a disaster for the U.S.

"The caliphate is getting recruits. It's winning territory. It's taking military victories. It's defeating the greatest superpower in the world, the United States."

A report this week said social media chatter from ISIS and its supports pointed to potential U.S. targets for a future attack.

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Christians are part of the forgotten minority in Iraq as the Islamic State (ISIS) continues to persecute them and drive them into hiding, one expert tells Newsmax TV.
Chris Seiple, christians, iraq, isis
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2015-51-28
Thursday, 28 May 2015 08:51 PM
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