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Public Statements

Worldwide Day of Prayer for Christians

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. ROSKAM. Madam Speaker, moments ago, the House opened in prayer. Today, I am rising in solidarity with those who are calling for a worldwide day of prayer for Christians suffering in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and across the Middle East.

Radical Islamists have a phrase: ``first the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.''

Those who call for Israel's destruction are the same radicals who are persecuting Christians throughout the Middle East. Reported cases of Christians killed for their faith doubled worldwide from the previous year. Others have been kidnapped, forcibly converted, or exiled, while churches and holy sites have been destroyed.

Iraq's Christian community has dropped from 1.5 million people in 2003 to only 200,000 today, and in Mosul--home of one of the world's oldest Christian communities--ISIS militants have overrun the city. They are using this Arabic symbol and are painting it on homes to identify Nazarenes, or Christians, who are told to convert to Islam, pay a religious tax, or be executed. Now almost no Christians remain in Mosul, a city with a 2,000-year relationship with the Christian faith. The situation is also dire in Syria and elsewhere.

Middle East Christians need our prayers, our support, and our voices,
and I am proud to stand with those who follow the Nazarene.

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