The United States on Wednesday denounced the “genocide” carried out by the Islamic State group against Christians, Shias and Yazidis, as the State Department unveiled its somber annual report on religious freedom around the world.
In its comprehensive look at the situation in more than 200 countries in 2015, the State Department said non-state actors like the IS group and Boko Haram “continued to rank amongst the most egregious abusers of religious freedom in the world.”
The IS group “continued to pursue a brutal strategy of what Secretary (John) Kerry judged to constitute genocide against Yazidis, Christians, Shias, and other vulnerable groups in the territory it controlled,” the State Department said.
Kerry and United Nations experts had previously used the term “genocide” to refer to crimes carried out by IS militants in Iraq and Syria.
In the two war-torn countries, where the Islamic State group controls swathes of territory, militants were “responsible for barbarous acts, including killings, torture, enslavement and trafficking, rape and other sexual abuse against religious and ethnic minorities and Sunnis,” the report said.