Islamic State guilty of genocide against Christians: US Vice-president Mike Pence

Washington: Terming the atrocities committed against Christians across the world by Islamic State (IS) terrorists as “genocide”, US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday condemned the cruelty while committing to defending Christians.

He was representing the Trump administration at the first-ever World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians hosted by The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Washington.

“I’m here on behalf of the President as a tangible sign of his commitment to defending Christians and, frankly, all who suffer for their beliefs across the wider world,” he said in his address.

“I stand here today as a testament to President Trump’s tangible commitment to reaffirm America’s role as a beacon of hope and light and liberty to inspire the world,” he added.

He pointed that “across the wider world, the Christian faith is under siege” and said no people of faith face greater hostility or hatred than the followers of Christ.

He said that US President Donald Trump sees these crimes as vile acts of persecution animated by hatred for the Gospel of Christ.

“And so too does the President know those who perpetrate these crimes. They are them the embodiment of evil in our time. He calls them by name — radical Islamic terrorists,” Pence said.

“From al Qaeda to al Shabaab, from Boko Haram to the Taliban, these extremist groups seek to stamp out all religions that are not their own, or even a version of their own that they approve. The practitioners of terror harbour a special hatred for the followers of Christ, and none more so than the barbarians known as IS,” he added.

“I believe IS is guilty of nothing short of genocide against people of the Christian faith, and it is time the world called it by name,” Pence noted.

The Vice President said that under Trump, America will continue to stand for religious freedom of all people, of all faiths, across the world.