WASHINGTON, D.C. (BP) — Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, signed onto an open letter with national leaders on Tuesday urging the United States and international community to act immediately to stop the genocide of religious minorities in Iraq.
Moore joined Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; Eric Metaxas, a popular author and speaker; Ben Carson, a noted neurosurgeon and other leaders in signing the letter.
Moore comments on the current state of religious persecution in Iraq:
“I stand in solidarity with men and women across the political spectrum to urge the U.S. government to help put an end to this grievous injustice in Iraq. Our authorities should use the sword of the state to promote justice and the protection of innocent people.
“At the same time, I would ask Christians to pray for our brothers and sisters in Iraq. As we do, let’s remember that we pray in power. The church may be hounded and jailed and even crucified. But the church can never be beheaded. The Head of the Church is alive, and engaged, and on his way back. This should give us courage and hope, even as we groan at the evil we see.”
In their open letter, those who signed expressed appreciation to President Barack Obama for ordering airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militia — a branch of al-Qaida also known as ISIL — to stop its advancement on key cities, but they also said more should be done to stop the violence.
“We call upon the United States and the international community to do everything necessary to empower local forces fighting ISIS/ISIL in Iraq to protect their people. No options that are consistent with the principles of just war doctrine should be off the table,” the letter said.
Reported by the communications department of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).