Local Iraqi Christian leader heading to Washington to take on hu - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local Iraqi Christian leader heading to Washington to take on humanitarian crisis

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - As the Islamic terrorist threat represented by ISIS continues to brutalize and displace Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities, one local leader is heading to the nation's capitol to take on this global humanitarian crisis.

"The stories are a story of a living hell," said Mark Arabo, an outspoken advocate for Iraqi Christians, who has assembled a list of 60,000 names and stories of Iraqis driven from their homes and ruthlessly persecuted by ISIS for their religious beliefs.

"Through no fault of their own, they are being targeted, they are being kidnapped, they are being persecuted... because they're a minority, because they're Christian," Arabo told CBS News 8. "These are real people who are being beheaded, raped, massacred. It needs to stop."

In D.C., Arabo plans to lobby for legislation being introduced by San Diego congressman Juan Vargas to offer comprehensive asylum for Iraqis under siege in ISIS-controlled territories because of their religious or minority status, expediting their immigration as refugees to the United States.

"We're there to make sure they act," Arabo added. "We have to do everything we can as human beings with human hearts, for humanity to act."

This journey to Washington comes as President Obama is set to make a major address to the nation on Wednesday, outlining his plan to degrade, and ultimately destroy ISIS militants who have take over major portions of Iraq and Syria.

"I just want the American people to understand the nature of the threat and how we're going to deal with it and to have confidence that we'll be able to deal with it," President Obama said in an interview on ‘Meet the Press' over the weekend.
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