The following comes from a March 15 Alliance Defending Freedom press release:

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the United States recognizes the atrocities perpetrated by ISIS/Daesh against Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims as genocide. Alliance Defending Freedom International, which authored an extensive analysis of the issue as part of a report the Knights of Columbus provided to Kerry, says it welcomes this statement as an important first step in stopping the atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

“As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the United States has an influential role to play in supporting a referral to the International Criminal Court to condemn and prosecute the perpetrators,” Douglas Napier, senior counsel and executive director of ADF International explained. “Once it is recognized that genocide is happening, the 147 countries who are party to the UN Genocide Convention, including the U.S., have an obligation to do all they can to bring the killing of innocent people to an end.”

ISIS deliberately targets religious and ethnic minority groups in the Middle East for destruction. The number of Christians has dropped from 2 million to less than 1 million in Syria, and from 1.4 million to less than 260,000 in Iraq in just a few years. The Yazidis in the region of Kurdistan have been almost entirely wiped out. The atrocities include assassinations of church leaders, torture, mass murders, kidnapping, sexual enslavement and systematic rape of Christian and Yazidi girls and women, and the destruction of churches, monasteries, and cemeteries.