Donohue: ISIS’ Persecution of Christians ‘Far Worse Than China, North Korea’

By Barbara Hollingsworth | August 12, 2014 | 12:53 PM EDT


Sunni demonstrators chant pro-Islamic ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) slogans and wave al-Qaeda banners in Mosul on Monday, June 16, 2014. (AP Photo)

( –The systematic slaughter of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq by the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) is "far worse" than the atrocities committed against believers by communist regimes in North Korea and China, says Catholic League president Bill Donohue.

“I would say they’re actually worse than the North Koreans at this point,” he told

“We’ve seen what’s going on in Communist China. It’s going on right now – they’re destroying churches. We’ve seen it in North Korea, the mass killing of Christians."

"But what’s different about this is that no one really believes that the Chinese anti-Christian Communists are going to go across somebody else’s border to bring about their messianic vision. The same is true for North Korea, for all their talk,” Donohue added.

“What’s different about this is that you don’t even have a nation. I mean, whether we like it or not, North Korea is a nation and so is China. But here we have nothing but a band of terrorist barbarians who did not spring from any particular nation, and who are on the march to take over the entire Middle East, which will destroy the economy of the world while they’re killing Jews and Christians, and Muslims, I might add."

“So this is a menace without borders. It’s far worse than China and North Korea. I wouldn’t even compare North Korea to what’s going on right now. At least that’s somewhat contained. These people do not want to be contained. They’ve promised not to be contained. They want to take it across the world. That’s what they believe in.”

Donohue gave the Obama administration credit for “finally reacting” to the genocide in Iraq, but criticized the president for comments he made during an August 8 interview with The New York Times.

“President Obama over the weekend made a comment that we don’t want winners and we don’t want the vanquished. But that’s just plain silly. You can’t have two winners in war. You can’t have two winners in a baseball game,” Donohue said. “As far as I’m concerned, you either have the forces of freedom or you have the forces of death. The Muslim jihadists are the forces of death.”

“When you have Muslims being murdered by ISIS because they don’t adopt the exact same Islamic perspective, when you have nations like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates being scared to death of what’s going on and where Iran is figuring in on this, when you have normal foes of Israel falling silent because they know what they’re up against, I think that we’re at a very dangerous point,” Donohue told

“I’ve never seen a more maniacal force since the days of Pol Pot, and then before that, you’d have to dial the clock back to Hitler, and Stalin and Mao Tse-tung. When you have children at the age of seven walking around with the heads of soldiers, when you have children being beheaded, when you have people being told that at midnight, you change your religion or we will kill you, you’re not dealing here with the normal kinds of antagonisms that will often exist between various parties, including in the Middle East."

Noting that over 100.000 Christians have already fled from Nineveh, which he called “one of the heartland cities for Christians in Iraq,” Donohue pointed out that ISIS’s stated goal is “to turn the whole Middle East into a caliphate.”

“We have a terrorist organization that kills everybody who doesn’t agree with its perspective 100 percent, including other Muslims.” he continued. “ISIS is not like any other force that we’ve seen. If in fact they quit al Qaeda because al Qaeda was considered too wimpy, then you’re dealing with people who cannot be stopped by dialogue and diplomacy. So they have to be met with force.”

More than a dozen airstrikes have been launched against ISIS by the U.S. military, but Pentagon officials say that they are just a temporary measure and the terrorists are already reacting by hiding among the civilian population.

On August 9, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that he “remains deeply concerned about the evolving humanitarian and security situation in Iraq.”

Donohue predicted that due to the vast extent of the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, the United Nations will eventually intervene. “I think that’s coming. There have been encouraging words by the secretary general in condemning this genocide. He’s not holding back, and he doesn’t have measured words. I commend him on that, and a lot of Catholic leaders have as well. ” asked Donohue what he thinks will happen if ISIS is not defeated.

“If they were to continue on unabated, then you would have a caliphate, then you would have sharia law all over the Middle East. And then, of course, the next stop would be to destroy Israel. At that point, you actually risk a world war. I don’t think we’re going to get to that, because I think the resolve of the West will be strong enough, but I do think that this is a menace the likes of which goes beyond anything we’ve seen even in recent history out of the Middle East.”