Join The Christian Coalition For Syria

Jubilee Campaign USA and Jubilee Campaign Netherlands are jointly announcing with Law & Liberty Trust the alliance of the Syriacs and Kurds of Syria for the strategic purpose of representing both minorities at the negotiation table in Geneva. We are also revealing the new initiative for the Christian Coalition for Syria which will bring together global Christian entities to create a relevant support front for Christians in Syria. On this day of the “Geneva II” talks on Syria, we are writing to ask for your participation and support for this newly formed movement called the Christian Coalition for Syria (CCFS) and its goals.

The alliance between the Syriacs/Christians and Kurds represents a total of up to 5 million citizens in Syria, which is almost one-quarter of the Syrian population. Until now, this significant population has been deprived of any relevant participation at the Geneva I and II negotiations. By joining forces, Syriacs and Kurds want to enforce representation in decisions about post-war Syria.  The Syriac National Council of Syria and the Syrian Kurdish Supreme Council will officially announce their alliance at a press conference on January 23, 2014, in Geneva, Switzerland. This conference will be facilitated by Jubilee Campaign Netherlands.

The new joint initiative, Christian Coalition For Syria, hopes to influence world powers and other governmental and inter-governmental organizations to ensure that Syrian Christians (Syriacs) have meaningful representation at the Geneva II talks and beyond.  We believe that the best representatives of Syriacs at this time are members of the Syriac National Council of Syria (SNCS), a coalition of Syriacs living inside and outside Syria.

Joining the CCFS or supporting its goals is a tangible and concrete step Christian religious and advocacy organizations can take toward finding a solution for the Syrian crisis that enables Syriacs to remain in their ancestral lands, inhabited for thousands of years before the coming of Christ.  The Syrian Christian community is pleading for the support of the worldwide church at this critical time.  They need representation at the peace conference so they can lobby for rights for Syriacs and other minority religious/ethnic groups. Stability in Syria is essential for regional peace and is in the national security interests of the United States and many other nations.

Many groups and members of the U.S. Congress have noted the disproportionate adverse impact of the Syrian civil war on Syriacs, who once constituted over 12% of the Syrian population.   They have experienced widespread genocidal attacks, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes, desecration of churches and destruction of their homes and businesses, confiscation of property, kidnapping and death threats, including threats of execution if they do not convert to Islam.  Syriacs have been displaced from entire areas and large cities where they once lived in peace with neighbors of different faiths.

We believe that the SNCS’s presence at Geneva II is essential if there is to be a lasting peace and stability for Syria.  Their goals are an immediate cease fire and the formation of a new, pluralistic governmental structure founded on the principles of equal rights, democracy, and the rule of law, giving rights to all Syrians regardless of faith or ethnic background.  Similar goals have recently been endorsed by the Russian Orthodox Church, the Vatican, the World Evangelical Alliance, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Syrian church leaders, thousands who have signed petitions circulated by the CCFS, and many others.

We hope that the goals of the CCFS will be endorsed by Christian organizations and religious freedom advocacy groups from around the world and by other like-minded individuals and organizations.  We seek your participation in an overall campaign (which does not necessarily require participation in the CCFS) to persuade world powers to allow representation by members of the SNCS and other Christian and minority groups in the peace negotiations.

For more information, go to the webpage: www.CCFSyria.com and/or go to and endorse the Facebook page. Please write and inform us if your organization would like to join the Christian Coalition For Syria.

Boko Haram Hearing and FTO Designation

JUBILEE CAMPAIGN LAUDS U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE’S DESIGNATION OF BOKO HARAM AS A FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
WASHINGTON, DC (November 13, 2013) – Several human rights, religious liberty and civil society groups today welcomed the designation of Boko Haram–whose religious persecution of Christians has reached a catastrophic level–as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” by the U.S. Department of State.
In its official release, the White House announced its “strong support” for Nigeria’s fight against terrorism and its efforts to address security challenges in the north.”  According to the White House, the designation cuts off terrorist organizations from U.S. financial institutions and enables banks to freeze assets held in the U.S. Calling for a “comprehensive counterterrorism approach” which also “creates economic opportunity”, the White House declared that the U.S. stands “firmly with the people of Nigeria in their efforts to bring the terrorist violence perpetrated by these groups to an end.”
During today’s House Foreign Affairs hearing jointly held by the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations (Rep. Christopher H. Smith, chairman) and the subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade (Rep Ted Poe, chairman), the Honorable Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the new Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, testified that Boko Haram and the Ansura terrorist organizations have been placed on the Foreign Terrorist Organization list this morning as a further step to empower U.S. law enforcement and the Treasury department with tools to pursue the violent terrorist organization.
In his opening remarks, Congressman Chris Smith used facts he found during a September visit to Nigeria to emphasize why the nature and the Boko Haram fits designation as am FTO.  He stated that during his trip he found that Boko Haram is a very sophisticated  organization operating in disconnected cells but coordinated at a high level and whose activities are not limited to Nigeria.   “There actions proves their participation in the global jihad movement that wages violent war world wide that to establish their skewed version of Islam as the prevailing religion globally.”  Various actions and statements by leaders indicate their international intent and thereby meet the three criteria and justify the FTO designation and we welcome this action.
“Victims and their families we have been in touch with welcome this long delayed and overdue designation.  We are also pleased with the emphasis in the White House and the Department of State announcements on enhancing the efforts of the Nigerian government to end the violence,” said Ann Buwalda, Executive Director of Jubilee Campaign. According to our statistics, the publicly reported Christian casualties in Nigeria last year were greater than the Christian casualties of Pakistan, Syria, Kenya and Egypt combined…Nigeria alone accounted for almost 60 percent of Christians killed globally.  Our statistics also show that more Christians then Muslims have been killed by the Boko Haram, contrary to the testimony of Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield who again repeated the claim that more Muslims have been killed.
The facts are that all too many citizens of northern Nigeria of both faiths have suffered the full range of persecution from abduction followed by forced participation in atrocities or sex slavery to death.  Congressman Smith who visited Abuja and Jos Nigeria in September, stated that it would not be accurate to describe the situation in Nigeria as a Muslim-Christian conflict. He found during his fact-finding trip that “Boko Haram is definitely targeting other Muslims who do not agree with their views.”
“Thousands of lives have been lost in this largely silent slaughter in Nigeria at the blood-thirsty hands of Boko Haram. Although it took long for the State Department to get the memo which the DOJ, DOD and Congress did, the time has come to help bring an end to this senseless violence and pre-genocide,” said Emmanuel Ogebe, an international human rights lawyer who is a Nigeria expert for the Washington Working Group on Nigeria – thecoalition which tirelessly advocated for Boko Haram to be designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
Habila Adamu, the sole survivor of Boko Haram’s extermination of all Christian males in his neighborhood in a November 2012 massacre, was the first victim of the terror group to testify to the United States Congress.  He described in detail Boko Haram assailants asked, “if I am a member of the Nigeria Police, I said no. Are you a Nigerian soldier, I said no, I told them that I am a businessman. “Okay, are you a Christian?” I said I am a Christian. They asked me why are we preaching the message of Mohammed to you and you refuse to accept Islam. I told them I am a Christian … Then they asked , “Habila are you willing to die as a Christian?” and I told them. “I am ready to die as a Christian.” … They fired me through my nose and the bullet came through the back.  Habila’s full and stirring testimony can be found here.
Although applauding today’s announcements, Jubilee Campaign says there is more to be done:
  • The US has lagged behind in humanitarian assistance spending millions on Interfaith dialogue instead of de-radicalization programs or even relief. Nigeria’s President announced last week that he would not provide compensation for victims. The US should urge him to emulate America’s post-911 victim compensation fund for his citizens.
  • USAID has a PEACE project that researches extremism in target countries. Despite the data that puts Nigeria at the front of terror activity, USAID has not made Nigeria a priority country. In fact, it lists Nigeria specifically as an example of a country that doesn’t suffer extremism, but does not make an effort to study the situation to prove or disprove its assumption. USAID should consider designating Nigeria a priority country and studying this properly.
  • In regards to regional security cooperation, the US looked beyond the oil producing region to include northern Nigeria in its Bi-national Commission. More technical assistance  should be provided against the Boko Haram terrorism to enable the army combat a Taliban-insurgency from America’s lessons learned.
  • In the same vein, the US should work to contain the proliferation of post-Qaddafi and post northern Mali arms. Although the US consul general in Nigeria did raise public concern, it is unclear if strategic containment mechanisms were initiated.
  • The US should review the idea of placing more American lives in grave danger at the height of a low-grade insurgency by opening a consulate in Kano in a post-Benghazi era.                                           
In his testimony, Nigeria expert Emmanuel Ogebe stressed the following facts concerning United States policy.
  • The U.S. State Department has denied within its annual reports and in previous statements by officials the religious motivation of Boko Haram, which has repeatedly declared its goal of overthrowing the state and establishing a radical Muslim theocracy. To claim that religion does not play a role in the extremism exhibited by this terrorist group is disingenuous, deeply insensitive to victims and impairs U.S. threat analysis.
  • Prior to today’s designation, the State Department has downplayed the fact that Boko Haram has attacked U.S. citizens which potentially places more Americans including diplomats at risk.
  •  The U.S. has lagged behind in humanitarian assistance, nor has it encouraged the Nigerian government to assist victims or provide compensation to victims.
  •  Nigeria is a strategic security partner in the region and globally, and it currently participates in nine U.N. peacekeeping operations worldwide.

Ogebe noted that in addition to the humanitarian tragedy of these ongoing atrocities being inflicted on individuals solely because of a warped theology, there are concerns that if allowed to continue, this violent jihad will spread to other parts of Africa, destabilizing strategic areas of the continent and increasing threat to vital U.S. interests. The rest of his testimony can be seen here.

Click here to view the Hearing.

 

Dear Friends,

The Boko Haram terrorists relentlessly continue their targeting of the minority Christian community within the Northern states of Nigeria. Their activities have created many martyrs, and left many widows and orphans behind. In 2012, more Christians were killed in northern Nigeria than the rest of the world combined. Sadly, September of this year was the bloodiest month in 3 years with over 150 Christians killed in one highway massacre alone while our team was in northern Nigeria. About 500 people were killed in September.

Jubilee Campaign and partners tireless effort to draw attention to this genocide is starting to bear fruit. We are honored to present the following events:

Wednesday, November 13th 

1:00PM

The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa will hold a hearing on Boko Haram. Jubilee Campaign’s Nigerian expert and special counsel for Justice for Jos, Emmanuel Ogebe will testify. Jubilee Campaign has worked with our friends at Voice of the Martyrs to bring Adamu Habila, the sole survivor of a Boko Haram neighborhood massacre who was targeted solely because of his Christian faith, to testify. Click here for the entire list of panelists. If you are unable to attend there will be a live stream on the Committee website.

Thursday, November 14th
12:00- 1:30PM
Our friends at the Hudson Institute will hold a luncheon “Witness of Boko Haram’s Religious Cleansing in Northern Nigeria: An Inside Look at the World’s Deadliest Place for Christians”.
This panel discussion will address the human impact of the ongoing violence by Boko Haram and the necessary steps the international community needs to take to address and halt the rise of jihadists in Northern Nigeria.
Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, Nina Shea, will moderate the discussion. Panelists will include:
Adamu Habila, a first-hand witness to the terror, and the sole survivor of a massacre of his neighborhood November 2012. Adumu Habila is the first known victim of Boko Haram to visit Washington and speak publicly about his experiences.
Emmanuel Ogebe is an international human rights lawyer and expert in bilateral U.S.-Nigerian relations who founded the “Justice for Jos Project” in 2010, which seeks redress for the victims of persecution in Northern Nigeria.

Ann Buwalda, an attorney and law professor, is the Executive Director of Jubilee Campaign, an organization focusing on international religious freedom, the plight of religious-based refugees, and other human rights issues. She recently interviewed Nigerian Christians who have taken refuge in Cameroon.

Emmanuel Ogebe and Ann Buwalda recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Nigeria. They will report on the Nigerian government’s response to the violence; the inadequacy of U.S. and Western involvement and assistance; and the internationalization of the plight of Nigeria’s indigenous Christian population.

Please RSVP for the Hudson Event by signing up here.

We look forward to seeing you.

In HIS Grace and Peace

Ann's Signature 2

Ann Buwalda, Executive Director

Jubilee Campaign USA

Coptic Solidarity Fourth Annual Conference

 June 20-21, 2013

 Washington, D.C.

 To What Extent Will the U.S. and the International Community Support an Islamist Government in Egypt?

June 20:Policy Day (Capitol Visitors Center, HVC 201, Near Congressional Auditorium)

9:00  –Opening remarks, by Coptic Solidarity President

9:15  -Session 1

  • ChairDr. Walid Phares Co-Sec. General, Transatlantic Legislative Group
  • Ambassador R. James Woolsey – Chairman, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Former Director of Central Intelligence.
  • Baroness Cox – UK House of Lords.
  • Amb. Ned Walker – Former Amb. to Egypt; Distinguished Professor of Global Political Theory, Hamilton College

10:30  -Panel: What Next in Egypt?

  • Dr. Osama El-Ghazaly Harb – Chairman, Democratic Front Party; Member of the Salvation Front, Egypt.
  • Judge Ayman Fouad – Rapporteur of the Freedoms Committee of the Judges’ Club’ in Egypt.
  • TBA
  • Q&A 

(Members of Congress drop by as of 11:00)

12:00  –Leadership Award presentation to Congressman Frank Wolf

12:15   -Lunch break (sandwiches served in the room)

1:00  –(Members of Congress drop by all PM)

Session 2 –

  • Chair:  Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).
  • Judith Miller – Author, Journalist.
  • KNS:  Judge Michael Mukasey – 81st. United States Attorney General;Partner,Debevoise & Plimpton LLP .

2:00  -Panel – Liberties, between Violation and Reporting

  • Dwight BashirDeputy Director for Policy and Research USCIRF.
  • Emilie Kao, Esq.Senior International Legal Counsel, previously at the Office of International Religious Freedom, the State Department.
  • Raymond IbrahimResearcher, author, columnist.
  • Amb. Suzan Johnson CookA.A.L Intl. Religious Freedom.             (Presensce Only)
  • Amb. Andrew BennettBureau of Religious Freedom, Canada.
  • Jim Karigaynnis – MP, Canadian House of Commons.

4:30  –Conclusions

 5:00  – E N D

*****************

June 21:  Conference (Dulles A/P Marriott Hotel)

9:00  -Panel – Minorities Rights under Islamist Rule

  • Chair: Raymond Ibrahim, Researcher, author, columnist.
  • Caroline Doss, Esq.,Coptic Solidarity Vice President.
  • Dr. Mariz Tadros, Institute of Development Studies, London, UK.
  • Rev. Keith Roderick, D.D., Secretary General, Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights (Remarks delivered by Dr. Helmy Guirguis, Coptic Solidarity Board Member).
  • Monica Mikhail, Esq., Australian Coptic Movement Association (ACM).
  • Tina Ramirez, President, Hardwired Inc. NGO to promote religious freedom

10:30  -Break

11:00  -Panel – Regional Security Issues

  • Chair: Colonel Ken Allard, former dean at the War College and NBC Military expert.
  • Admiral (Ret.) James Lyons, Jr., U.S. Navy Retired; President/CEO of LION Associates LLC.
  • Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarlandformer Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, and FOX News National Security Analyst.

 12:15 -Special session: Message from Russia

  • Alexey KomovPresident World Congress of Families in Russia and CIS- Moscow

12:30  -Lunch break

1:30  -Panel- Assessing the Brotherhood Regime – Internal & International roles

  • ChairFrank GaffneyPresident of the Center for Security Policy.
  • Steve Emerson, Executive Director, The Investigative Project on Terrorism.
  • Dr. Tawfik Hamid, Chair for the Study of Islamic Radicalism, the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.
  • Dina Guirguis, Esq. – Egyptian American attorney.
  • Halim Meawad, Former diplomat, Secretary, Coptic Solidarity.
  • Q&A

3:30  -Break

4:00  -Panel – Current Political Crisis in Egypt

  • ChairMagdi Khalil, Writer and analyst; Coptic Solidarity Board Member.
  • Dr Ehsan Kameel GeorgyHead of Forensics Department, Ministry of Justice, Cairo.
  • Judge Ayman Fouad – Rapporteur of the Freedoms Committee of the Judges’ Club’ in Egypt.
  • Dr. Osama El-Ghazaly Harb – Chairman, Democratic Front Party; Member of the Salvation Front.
  • Book Signing SessionDr. Mariz Tadros, Raymond Ibrahim.
  • Q&A

 6:00  -(TBA)

 6:30  –E N D

For more information about the conference please click here.

To register please click here.