During his lunch talk at our offices in Washington, DC on December 3, Canon Andrew White, the “Vicar of Baghdad”, talked about the persecution Christians face in Iraq as well as the genocide both Yazidis and Christians face. Here is an excerpt from his testimony:

The issue of the children is what hurts me most… And I must confess I find telling this story quite difficult because I tell it all day every day because people need to hear it… [ISIS] turned up, and they said, “Josef, you have got to convert to Islam or we kill you and your children.” He couldn’t consider watching his children being killed. He said the words that he would convert to Islam, and he phoned me and said, “Abuna Abuna [term for “reverend”], will you still forgive me? I said those words. I would never do that.” I said, “Yeshua [Jesus] knows what your words are. Yeshua knows that you really love Him. He won’t leave you. Most of us would have done the same.”

The next day, ISIS didn’t ask the father or the mother. They said to the children, “Will you follow Islam and Mohamed, his greatest prophet?” But the children said, “No. We love Yeshua. We follow Yeshua. We talk to Him every day, and He talks to us.”

They killed them. They chopped off their heads.

And I was crying and crying in my room in Baghdad. And the other children in the compound, they came up to me, and they said, “Daddy, don’t cry. Don’t worry about the other children because we saw them in a dream last night, and they went to Heaven with Yeshua. And they were dancing with Him.” And to be honest, those words of those children were the only thing which kept me going. So whenever I think about children now- and that is just one of many of the stories- I think of my dear, dear children dancing in Heaven.

According to the Obama Administration, Islamic State’s special intent to destroy a particular group (Christians) in part or whole by killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, and inflicting conditions of life to bring about physical destruction- is not genocide.