Christianity Today: Genocide declaration would save lives: UK Coptic bishop enters the debate over ISIS atrocities

A declaration of genocide by MPs this week would protect lives and allow for a co-ordinated international response to the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in the Middle East.

This is according to Bishop Angaelos, the general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK who issued a statement ahead of a House of Commons debate on Wednesday afternoon. The intervention comes as the debate’s motion received support from MPs of all major parties.

Among UK church leaders, Bishop Angaelos has been the most outspoken advocate for the declaration of genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities. He was heavily involved in the successful campaign to persuade US secretary of state John Kerry to use the term in relation to atrocities committed against Yazidis and Christians.

In a statement issued on Tuesday he said he would “pray for wisdom for all those taking part in the debate”.

He continued: “If the British Parliament recognises these violations as genocide, along with other parliamentary bodies around the world, this will allow an essential co-ordinated approach across the international community for the protection of the sanctity and dignity of God-given human life.”

Ultimately, he added, the solution lay in a “realisation of the value of every life”.

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