By BosNewsLife Americas Service
WASHINGTON, USA (BosNewsLife)-- A key rights official on Friday, September 27, "praised" a U.S. House of Representatives resolution for the creation of a special diplomatic envoy for religious freedom in the Middle East.
Jeff King, president of Washington-based advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC), told BosNewsLife that the legislation, which passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority of 402 to 22, "unequivocally signals that the United States will not tolerate the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities."
He said however that "the cause of the Christian minority in the Middle East requires more attention and advocacy from the United States government."
King noted that recent governmental and societal changes in the Middle East "eroded or destroyed many of the few protections held by Christian minorities in the region."
He said Christians in the region are regarded by national majorities "not as fellow citizens, but as extensions of American interests. They are abused accordingly."
Recent incidents included attacks by Islamic militants on Christian minorities in Syria and Iraq killing many, while in Egypt Christians recently suffered what experts called the "the worst violence since 1321, under the Mamluks."
In Egypt, over a hundred Christian sites were attacked last month by followers of ousted President Mohammed Morsi including 42 churches which Christians said "were utterly razed" and several believers were killed.
In the south of Egypt, the town of Delga was reportedly occupied by Muslim Brotherhood supporters for 34 days and its Christian population was attacked.
ICC said it had thanked Representative Frank Wolf for sponsoring the legislation and "his aggressive advocacy in support of religious freedom." King stressed he was hopeful that the Senate would "soon follow the House with an overwhelming bipartisan approval of the resolution."
ICC is a non-profit organization devoted to raising global awareness of the persecution of Christians, providing relief to the persecuted, and advocating on their behalf.
(BosNewsLife, the first truly independent news agency covering persecuted Christians, is 'Breaking the News for Compassionate Professionals' since 2004).