As terror group Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) continues to commit atrocities against Christians in Iraq, beheading those who chose to follow Jesus Christ, displacing thousands, demolishing churches, and burning sacred manuscripts and art.
However, the international community, and U.S. President Obama in particular, have done relatively little in response to the plight of Christians in the region.
"The world, and much less the United Nations, cannot stand by with obvious complacency and apathy towards our plight and allow this destruction of these peoples in Iraq," said Mar Dinkha IV, The Patriarch of Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East.
"Mere statements of condemnation by the UN, and even of the major countries of the West, are not sufficient! These statements, though taken with gratitude, are not enough to bring an end to these atrocities and to stop this genocide of a religious nature!"
Thus, religious leaders and community are taking the issue into their own hands, holding a prayer vigil and public witness in front of the White House on Saturday, August 9 at 11:00 A.M.
The Associated Press reports that the vigil will be on Pennsylvania Ave. NW in front of the White House across from Lafayette Park, and groups will be "praying and standing in solidarity with their Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq as well as other religious minorities."
The demonstrators will also ask President Obama to address the issue and use U.S. resources to help those in Iraq.
One of the principal organizers, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, who has a long history of working with Iraqi people and has meet and prayed with Prime Minister Maliki in Baghdad, states,
"It is unspeakable what is happening with Christians, Yazidis and religious minorities in Iraq. This genocide has taken the lives of thousands of people with many facing starvation, beheading, torture, murder and sexual assault while the world watches on in silence.
"Today, thousands of families and children have been driven from their homes by ISIS and are hiding in mountains facing starvation and torture for their religious beliefs.
"Sadly, President Obama has not personally spoken out against this violence and genocide and has not deployed the vast resources of the United States to help our precious brothers and sisters in Iraq.
"We are gathering at the White House on Saturday, to first pray and cry out to God for the protection of the persecuted church and other religious minorities in Iraq. Throughout history, prayer has sustained the needy in times of violence and persecution.
"We will be also be calling on the President and his administration to personally speak out on this genocide and mobilize all the resources of the United States to assist with this global tragedy.
"The time to act is now. We cannot be silent!"