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Congressman Dan Donovan

Representing the 11th District of New York


Donovan Welcomes Pope Francis to New York City, Hopes Pope Will Address Christian Genocide in the Middle East

September 23, 2015
Press Release
Donovan looks forward to Pope’s message of acceptance

Staten Island, NY—September 23, 2015....Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11), a lifelong Catholic, today welcomed Pope Francis to New York City. Donovan represents more than 250,000 Catholics, among the largest populations of any Congressional district in the country.

Donovan said, “Like many in New York and across the country, I consider it an honor and a privilege for His Holiness to grace New York City with his message of optimism, peace, and acceptance. With bitter discord dividing our country, it’s a refreshing and absolutely necessary shift in tone for our political discourse.”

Donovan continued, “As violence continues to grip the Middle East, I hope the Pope offers guidance on addressing Christian genocide at the hands of ISIS and its affiliates. Reports of mass murder as part of a systematic campaign to dismantle Christianity in the Middle East run counter to religious and secular ideals alike. That such brutal persecution persists in our time should weigh heavy on our collective conscience.”

In March 2015, a U.N human rights report indicated ISIS likely committed crimes against humanity in targeting Christians and other sects in Iraq. In July, a New York Times Magazine article questioned whether this could be the “end of Christianity in the Middle East.” The Times recounted stories of murder, enslavement, and forced displacement as ISIS advanced across the Ninevah Plain, seeking to eliminate Christianity and its followers.