In acknowledgement of his advocacy on behalf of persecuted Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East, Rev. Johnnie Moore was one of three champions of religious freedom awarded the Simon Wiesenthal Center Medal of Valor April 5 in Beverly Hills, California.
The award was presented by Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, on the 40th anniversary of the organization considered a leading global voice for human rights.
For more than a decade, Rev. Moore has assisted and advocated for persecuted Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East. In early 2014, as ISIS started to grow in influence, Moore visited Capitol Hill to warn of the threat the group posed to Iraq’s and Syria’s minority Christian and religious communities. Moore’s book, Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard, is credited with awakening many in the West to ISIS atrocities against Christians, Yazidis and other persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East.
He has helped raise more than $25 million in humanitarian aid and emergency assistance for Christians from Iraq and Syria. In February, his name appeared on an unofficial short list of candidates for appointment as Ambassador-at-Large to head the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in the State Department. The position has not yet been filled.
The Medal of Valor was awarded posthumously to Israeli statesman and Nobel Peace Laureate Shimon Peres (1923─2016) who initiated and championed the 1993 Oslo Accords, and to World War II Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds who saved the lives of 200 Jewish GIs when he refused to identify them among the 1,275 men interned with him in a Nazi POW camp. “We are all Jews here” he told their German captors.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center Humanitarian Award was presented to NBC Universal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer for his support of the Wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance.
In accepting the Medal of Valor, Rev. Moore said, “No one person can save the world but we all can save a life… Some of us can save many lives…and, in so doing, we can prove to the world that the best of faith is stronger than the worst of religion…for every act of love on behalf of someone another hates is the death of bigotry.”
Read Rev. Moore’s acceptance speech here.