Open Doors USA Responds to U.S. Genocide Label

The following is a statement from Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry in response to the United States determination that ISIS’ actions in Syria and Iraq constitute genocide:

"Open Doors applauds the United States for recognizing the gravity of the situation facing Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims in Iraq and Syria. Our hope is that this declaration of genocide will be a call to action for the United States and other Western governments to increase their aid on behalf of these persecuted populations. In Syria alone, the Christian population has been nearly decimated from a population of 1 million in 2011 to fewer than 300,000 today. Christian Iraqis face daily attacks on their homes and families.

“But devastation wrought by ISIS extends far further than Iraq and Syria. To date, more than 43 terrorist groups have sworn allegiance to ISIS and are targeting Christians and other minority religious groups in many parts of the world. Christian persecution remains at unprecedented levels and the expansion of ISIS is a major driver of persecution today.

“Today’s official recognition by the U.S. State Department of the genocide in Iraq and Syria is a great first step, but more must be done around the world to protect the men, women and children who face discrimination, torture or death simply for professing and practicing their faith. We urge the United States to be the leader in bringing more relief and aid to those suffering for their faith at the hands of ISIS or any other oppressive regime.

“Finally, I urge all of us to consider the privilege of religious freedom that we enjoy in the U.S., work to protect it and advocate for those around the world who do not have it.”  

Open Doors USA has been on the ground in the Middle East and is providing shelter, food, water, counseling, and Bibles and other Christian materials to refugees. Iraq is No. 2 and Syria is No. 5 on the 2016 Open Doors World Watch List. Its main drivers of persecution are Islamic extremism and the level of persecution is rated as extreme.

About Open Doors USA:

For more than 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted. Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit