The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a resolution declaring that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East.
This week, the House voted unanimously to pass the resolution, which serves as additional pressure on President Barack Obama's administration to follow suit as the March 17 deadline for the declaration looms nearer, according to Fox News.
The "genocide" resolution says ISIS' atrocities have resulted in the murder, subjugation, forced emigration, physical and psychological harm, and sexual abuse of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. These acts were done deliberately and in a manner that goes against the laws of the respective countries.
So far, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House have not yet decided on whether to make the same genocide declaration. On Mar. 1, White House spokesman Josh Earnest explained that the term "genocide" involves a specific legal determination that they have not yet reached.
A few days ago, the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians released a graphic report supporting the declaration that ISIS is indeed committing genocide against the Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.
"When ISIS systematically targets Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities for extermination, this is not only a grave injustice—it is a threat to civilization itself," Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, (R-Neb.), said in a statement. "We must call the violence by its proper name: genocide."
House Republican Speaker Paul Ryan also supported the measure, and urged the White House to decide on the matter in light of the continued attacks ISIS has launched against Christians and other minorities. On Monday, he spoke about how ISIS killed 16 people at a retirement home in Yemen. The victims included four Catholic nuns, the report details.
Presidential candidates Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Hillary Clinton have also called on the Obama administration to label the ISIS atrocities as genocide.
Aside from the House genocide resolution, the U.S. Senate is also set to vote on a similar measure.