By BosNewsLife Americas Service
WASHINGTON, USA (BosNewsLife)– Most Americans agree with the presidential candidates of both parties in calling Islamic State group atrocities against Christians in the Middle East “genocide,” according to a poll by the Catholic Knights of Columbus (KofC) order and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.
Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee and Martin O’Malley have all called the situation genocide.
By almost 20 points, 55 percent to 36 percent, Americans agree that this targeting of Christians and other religious minorities meets the United Nations definition of genocide, said the KofC-Marist poll which was conducted in December. Additionally, nearly six in 10 Americans (59 percent), say they have heard “a great deal” or “a good amount” about the targeting of Christians and other religious minorities in the region by Islamic State militants.
“The American people, together with presidential candidates and elected officials of both political parties agree that Christians and other religious minorities are facing genocide in the Middle East,” said KofC CEO Carl Anderson in a statement.
“With such a bi-partisan consensus, inaction on a declaration of genocide by Congress and the State Department is unconscionable. An entire year has gone by with their silence. The time for action is now – while those being persecuted can still be saved.”
The survey came shortly after “a broad coalition” of religious leaders, researchers and scholars sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, urging him that Christians be included in any determination of genocide made by the State Department, “based on the overwhelming evidence” of their targeting in Iraq and Syria, KofC said.
Additionally, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recently released urged the State Department to declare what is happening to religious minorities in the region as “genocide.”
Pope Francis agrees. During his trip to Bolivia he said that, “Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus. … A form of genocide is taking place, and it must end.” Islamic State militants or their supporters have abducted and killed Christians across the troubled region.
Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace has urged the U.S. Congress to pass a “Genocide” resolution.
The survey of 1,517 adults was conducted December 1-7, 2015, by what is known as The Marist Poll in cooperation with KofC. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the continental United States were interviewed in English or Spanish by landline and mobile phone, using live interviewers, pollsters said. Results are “statistically significant” with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, researchers claimed.
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