The Chairman’s Report for May 12, 2017

May 12th, 2017 | By | Category: RFC Newsletters

In this issue of the newsletter
Update:   Post Cards to Congress Campaign – Congress swamped with post cards
Update:   Calls to Congressional leaders needed to move HR-390 forward
Update:   Iraqi ministry calls for help: Expanded Christmas and diaper programs?
New:        Jordanian authorities demand changes at Christian summer camp

Congress swamped with HR-390 post cards

HR – 390 post cards getting attention: This past week I visited numerous congressional offices. When I walked into one congressman’s office I saw a stack of Religious Freedom Coalition produced post cards sitting on the receptionist’s desk. The cards had just been sorted out of the mail and were about to go back to the legislative assistant for domestic affairs.

This is the process: each congressman’s office not only counts the cards and notes the bill that is being supported, but the names and address of the constituents who sent them must be entered into their office computer system to respond.

The same is true of the Senators. I will admit that not all congressmen and Senators do respond — but those who want to win reelection normally respond to their constituents.

If you mailed the post cards supporting HR-390 to your congressman and Senators, please send me a copy of any responses you may receive. This is very important! For example: If you receive a letter from a congressman saying he supports HR-390 and yet he has not co-sponsored the bill, his office will be called and his legislative assistant will be asked: “Why is the congressman saying he supports this bill when he has not co-sponsored it?”

Having the copies of the letters you receive from your congressman and senators helps me apply leverage to get the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390) passed, so that Christian  refugees can get help.

Ignorance in Congress: I am appalled by the number of congressmen who do not know the extent of the persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Many of the congressmen who voted unanimously last year to declare that Christians and Yazidis have been  victims of genocide have no concept of the devastation.

I showed one congressman photos of the Christian town of Qaraqosh and told him what had happened there and his jaw dropped. He said to me, “None of this is in the briefings I get.” Of course the information is not there! The reports coming out of the CIA support the war on the Syrian government that is being paid for by Saudi Arabia.

Since our ally Saudi Arabia is a Sunni Muslim nation, the reports prepared about the Middle East for Congress and for President Trump whitewash the horrors of Sunni Muslim persecution of Christians and other minorities.

As I wrote in the last newsletter, Congressman Chris Smith’s bill, HR-390 lays out what is happening to Christians at the hands of Sunni Muslim groups such as the Islamic State. Under pressure from Congress, even President Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry was forced to make this declaration on March 17th, 2016:

“… in my judgment, Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims . . . the United States will strongly support efforts to collect, document, preserve, and analyze the evidence of atrocities, and we will do all we can to see that the perpetrators are held accountable.”

(Note that Kerry referred to the Islamic State (ISIS) as “Daesh” because he did not want to offend Muslims by saying some of them were terrorists.)

But the Obama Administration did exactly nothing to help. In fact 97% of those refugees admitted into the United States from Iraq and Syria after Kerry’s statement were Sunni Muslim. Yet it was Sunni Muslim groups who were committing genocide against Christians!

Every person who receives this Chairman’s Report should have received post cards to send to their congressman and Senators, demanding they support HR-390. Under the rules of the Senate, no Senate version of a bill has to be introduced if the Senate leadership – which is Republican – moves the House bill directly to the floor under the suspension rule. To do that,  two-thirds of those present and voting must vote to allow suspension of rules so that HR-390 can pass quickly.

I believe we can get enough support from Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to pass the bill under the suspension rule. But first we must get it out of the House! HR-390 passed out of committee and must go to the floor for a vote!  We must get the House Leadership to Act!

The Majority Leader of the House is Republican Kevin McCarthy from California.

Christian refugee mothers desperately need diapers for their babies – Please help

I am asking you to call his office on Capitol Hill and to ask him why The Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390) has not reached the floor. You may call his office at: 202-225-4000.  Below is a suggested comment:

The Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390) has passed out of committee by unanimous vote, yet your office has done nothing to move the bill forward despite enormous bipartisan support.  There is real genocide of Christians in Iraq and Syrian and many thousands have lost their homes. Our nation should not allow this humanitarian disaster. Christian men are being beheaded for their faith, their wives and daughters are being taken as sex slaves, and their sons forced to fight for Islamic armies. The roots of the church founded by the Saints are being torn out. Please move this important bill to stop the genocide of Christians and other religious minorities to the floor for a vote.”

Please be patient when you call, as you will probably be talking to a young staff member who is trying to take notes to give the actual legislative assistant to the Majority Leader a count of those who call. Does this count? Yes … every contact counts and we need a lot of contacts.

National Day of Prayer at the Supreme Court

Thursday, May 4th was the 66th National Day of Prayer. Every year numerous events are held during the days leading up to the National Day of Prayer as well as on that day itself. Each year I participate in a number of those events. This year the actual celebration held by the national organization was held in Statuary Hall located inside the Capitol Building itself.

One of the events I most cherish among National Day of Prayer events is the small gathering at the Supreme Court of which I am a part. Our group has received special permission to pray at the fountain in front of the Supreme Court before the Court opens. The number of participants is very limited.

Normally, no one is allowed to hold any group event other than on the sidewalk outside the Court. It has taken many, many years to gain the trust of the Court officials so they  understand that we do not plan on turning the prayer into a demonstration.

A second group, a little larger, also prays but stays at the bottom of the steps of the Court. To do otherwise would cause us to lose the permissions that we have worked so hard to obtain for so many years.

Each of us participating, mostly ordained, take turns praying not just for the nation, but for our leaders by name. We pray that our government officials, in the legislative, judicial and administrative branches of government will follow the will of God in carrying out their duties. This year I prayed for President Trump by name.

It is the group’s tradition to have breakfast in the Supreme Court cafeteria after the prayer. All of those participating follow us into the Court cafeteria where on occasion one of the Justices will be seen.

This one event, which we hold at 7:00 AM, holds more meaning for me than perhaps for many of the others participating, because it was my mother, communist and atheist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who won the lawsuit in the Supreme Court that banned prayer from our public schools.

The first book I wrote, My Life Without God, contains all the details of being raised in that atheist/Marxist home and how my mother came to file the lawsuit to remove prayer from the schools. The book has been updated and is available at Amazon and other places as well. You can also order it at www.MyLifeWithoutGod.com.

Events were held all week leading up to the National Day of Prayer that were attended by congressmen and Senators. More than 100 congressmen and several Senators are members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus that meets each week to pray for their fellow members and the nation. There are many good, godly men and women serving in Congress here in Washington —  but unfortunately not the majority. The majority of the 535 congressmen and Senators in Congress need our prayers that they will draw closer to the Lord and do His will in their lives.

 

A Disturbing Call From Jordan

Government orders changes at Christian camp: Just a few days ago I received a call from the ministry we work with in Jordan that runs a summer camp for Christian children and youth. The camp’s name cannot be used in the main newsletter for security reasons.

The camp was opened early this year to allow entire Christian refugee families to come and enjoy fresh air and Christian fellowship away from their desperate lives in the slum areas of Amman, Jordan where entire families often live in just one room of a basement apartment.

Suddenly officers of the Jordanian Secret Police, General Security Police and Civil Defense officers showed up at the camp and informed the camp director that bringing the refugees to the camp had caused a security issue. The officers examined the camp and determined it was “unsafe for children” at the current threat level and ordered security upgrades. One of the reasons given was that it was more than 15 minutes from a security station.

These are the changes the authorities ordered:

  1. Flood lights that cover the entire camp in an emergency
  2. Security cameras to cover 15,000 square meters – a total of 15, all wired to a monitor
  3. Increase in the height of the fence around the camp in certain areas
  4. Hiring of another guard to assure 24-hour surveillance.
  5. Building of a guard house for monitoring and security
  6. A landline telephone line that would not depend of cell service.

The funds must be raised and all security items must be in place before the camp opens for children in June. Because this is an unexpected expense, the Religious Freedom Coalition has so far only been able to wire $5,000 to assist in the security upgrades. At least another $10,000 is needed immediately. I will order additional funds sent as they become available.

Diaper Distribution – The need suddenly expands

A call for help in Duhoc: This past weekend I received a call from the director of the Christian aid organization in Duhoc, Iraq. He told me they had 4,500 displaced Christian families from the Nineveh Plain and Mosul who could not return to their homes because of the near total destruction. He had heard about the success of our diaper and Christmas programs and wanted to know if we could expand both to the families living in camps in the Duhoc area. Duhoc is about 100 miles northwest of Erbil where our current main base is located.

Currently my plan is to visit Iraq in June at the same time the diapers we provide will be delivered at camps in the Erbil area. I will now extend my time in Iraq and visit the Duhoc area to visit the camps to ascertain the needs myself. Please be in prayer about the expansion of the Christmas and diaper programs in Iraq. What can be done is in the Lord’s hands.

William J. Murray, Chairman

Religious Freedom Coalition, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #900, Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 742-8990

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