USCCB executive raises deep concern on religious minorities in Syria and Iraq

Refugee family in TurkeyA refugee family expects to be resettled in the ICMC-managed Resettlement Support Center Turkey and the Middle East. Photo: ICMC Washington, 21 October 2016 - William Canny, Executive Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services - an ICMC member as well as the largest US refugee resettlement agency - hailed the introduction of the bi-partisan Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act on the occasion of a hearing of the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (also known as the Helsinki Commission), a government agency that promotes human rights, military security, and economic cooperation.

Canny raised deep concerns for Syrian and Iraqi religious minorities fleeing persecution in the Middle East and urged the US government to protect the victims of violence consistently perpetuated by ISIS. “We are urging the US government and the international community to help address the root causes of this gruesome conflict, the root causes of forced migration, and to help build an inclusive society so that those forced to flee, regardless of religion and ethnicity, would be able to make a safe, humane, voluntary return at the end of the conflict,” Canny commented.

Canny praised the work of  the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and ICMC, which have strongly advocated for the resettlement of religious minorities facing persecution and long supported these populations via humanitarian assistance in the region.