Christian, Muslim Leaders to Denounce ISIS Violence at White House Candlelight Vigil

( [email protected] ) Nov 11, 2014 03:47 PM EST
Iraqi Christians
An Iraqi Christian woman, forced by ISIS to flee from her home, prays at a local church (CNS/Reuters)

Christian and Muslim leaders will gather on Wednesday night at a White House candlelight vigil to condemn condemn ISIS violence and to encourage the Obama Administration to ensure religious minorities are protected.

Christian Newswire reports that the vigil will be held on November 12, at 7:00 P.M. on Pennsylvania Ave. NW across from Lafayette Park.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition in Washington, D.C. states,

"It is imperative that the global community stand up and with a loud voice and condemn the violence of ISIS against religious minorities, women and children. We cannot be silent when it comes to this brutality and barbarism. We cannot be indifferent.

"It is especially critical that Christians and Muslims unite in one voice to condemn the violence and let those who are being impacted by ISIS know that they are not not alone and we have not forgotten them," he added.

"As a Christian, I have been called to pray and work for peace and reach out with mercy and compassion to those who are suffering, wounded and broken throughout the world.

"Holding this candlelight vigil is a positive step for our two communities to come together and send a powerful message to the world and the Obama Administration that we are united in our condemnation of violence."

Kris Keating, Founder of Hillside Missions and Director of World Horizons USA said, "I am saddened by the continued violence perpetrated by ISIS on so many people who have lost everything, and I am glad to be able to stand in solidarity and add my prayers to those of so many other specifically for these women who are experiencing such horrific abuse."

Over the past few months, the Islamic State (ISIS) has garnered international attention for both its conquest of territory in the Middle East and its brutal violence against religious minorities, particularly Christian communities in Northern Iraq, many of which date back to the earliest centuries of Christianity.

Earlier this month, the Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors reported that in territory it controlled ISIS performed "outright targeting of all non-Sunni Muslim groups."

"This has resulted in a mass loss of life, forced conversions and seizure of homes for Iraq's minority Christians, Shiite Muslims, Yazidis and Turkmen," noted Open Doors.

"Since then, IS has steadily moved north of Mosul into the Nineveh Plain, a predominantly Christian area. In total, more than 100,000 people have had to flee the villages and towns of Qaraqosh, Mosul and the Nineveh plain."

Currently, Iraqi Kurdish militia is battling the terrorist organization along with airstrikes by the United States Armed Forces.

President Barack Obama and his administration are reportedly planning out a long term strategy to eliminate ISIS from the region.

"The first phase, airstrikes against Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is already under way in Iraq, where U.S. aircraft have launched 143 attacks since Aug. 8," noted Fox News.

"The second phase involves an intensified effort to train, advise, and equip the Iraqi Army, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, and any Sunni tribesmen willing to fight their ISIS co-religionists."