(CNSNews.com) -- Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, forcefully denounced ISIS at the Ministerial for Religious Freedom on Wednesday.
Discussing the Knights’ efforts to help victims persecuted and displaced by ISIS, Anderson promoted an initiative to have the murderous actions of the terrorist organization officially declared genocide by Congress and detailed his organization’s work with the White House and Congress:
“Last year, Vice President Pence announced the Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Initiative. This is an important step forward for the United States, and we are grateful for his leadership and that of the White House, the State Department and USAID on this issue.
“We are also pleased that our organization has been able to provide important input to this and the previous administration on the response to religious persecution, and has worked successfully for unanimous passage by both houses of Congress on not one, but two bills addressing this genocide and its aftermath.”
“In 2016, we led the effort to have ISIS’s crimes declared genocide by Congress and by then-Secretary Kerry,” Anderson said, noting that the Knights provided the State Department with a nearly 300-page report detailing the evidence and legal analysis supporting that determination.
The Knights of Columbus have dedicated $25 million to helping victims of ISIS in the Middle East, Anderson said:
“More recently, we have turned our attention to religious communities targeted for genocide – particularly in the Middle East, becoming involved in assisting and advocating for those targeted by ISIS in 2014. To date, we have committed about $25 million to support persecuted communities in Iraq, Syria and the surrounding region.”
“We have built on that work with this administration – and with Congress. We have urged more efficient means of assisting those communities targeted for extermination by ISIS – especially since many of these minority communities had been overlooked in terms of US government and UN humanitarian aid and reconstruction.”
ISIS has been one of the largest and most problematic terrorist organizations that the world has seen since Al-Qaeda. In the battle for the city of Mosul alone, more than nine thousand civilians perished.
In March of 2019, ISIS lost its last stronghold in war-torn Syria, ending a short-lived caliphate that once encompassed 34,000 square miles of land across Iraq and Syria.