Pressure from outraged Newsmax TV
viewers and others has forced the State Department to reverse course and grant a visa allowing an Iraqi nun into the United States to speak out about "Christian genocide" in the Middle East, author Johnnie Moore revealed Friday on "Newsmax Prime."
In an interview with host J.D. Hayworth, Moore credited Newsmax TV viewers with helping to put enormous pressure on the Obama administration to allow Dominican Sister Diana Momeka to come to Washington to talk about the persecution of Christians in her war-torn nation.
"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," Moore said.
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NewsmaxTV and Newsmax.com first revealed the story of Sister Diana last week after the State Department refused to grant the Catholic nun a visa to enter the US.
That set Newsmax viewers and readers into motion.
"We told you about Sister Diana, a Catholic nun in Iraq originally denied a visa by our State Department. In turn you reached out to your congressmen, senators — I understand some of you even called and emailed the White House," Hayworth said in introducing Moore on Newsmax Prime.
Moore became one of the nun's most vocal backers and worked to rally public opinion to pressure the State Department for a reversal.
"It worked — people raised their voices. They wrote their congressmen and senators, they put pressure on everybody, everywhere," said Moore, author of "Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard."
"She has been approved.... It's exhibit A of what happens when people in this country start raising their voices."
Sister Diana, who's worked among the internally displaced persons in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil since tens of thousands of Christians were forced to take refuge there last summer, was initially refused a visa
because State Department officials found her lacking "ties that will compel you to return to your home country after your travel to the United States."
"Because of people that watch this program and … others like them, there can be one unquestionable thing," Moore said, and that is that the government heard "loud and clear that Americans care about this issue and Christian persecution will continue unless we keep doing this."
"I commend everyone that raised their voices, and I beg and plead with them, don't stop. We have to stop this Christian genocide," he added.
Among those enraged by the State Department's rejection was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who told Newsmax
there should be a congressional investigation if there was not a reversal of the visa denial.
"This is an administration which never seems to find a good enough excuse to help Christians, but always finds an excuse to apologize for terrorists ... I hope that as it gets attention that Secretary [of State John] Kerry will reverse it," Gingrich told Newsmax. "If he doesn't, Congress has to investigate, and the person who made this decision ought to be fired."
Moore said the visa denial puzzled Sister Diana, too.
"When I met Sister Diana in Iraq late last year ... she said, 'I don't understand you Americans.' She said, 'I've lived in America, I love America, but why are you so silent in the face of our genocide?'" Moore said.
Moore said Sister Diana will likely arrive in the United States "within the next 10 days" to meet with members of Congress and conduct interviews.
"She'll be giving a first-hand account of what [the Islamic State] ISIS has done and what [she and others are] doing to take care of those who have been imperiled by it," he said.
But Moore decried how long it took to persuade the State Department to rectify its initial decision.
"I remain incredibly frustrated that it took this much effort and we had to spend this much time and energy rallying thousands and thousands of people for something so simple and so sensible," he said.
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