Father Douglass Bazi, a Chaldean Catholic priest in Iraq, held up a bloody shirt at the National Press Club this week while begging the U.S. State department to recognize ISIS' targeting of Christians in Iraq and Syria as officially genocide.

“I’m begging here--begging people of America to recognize it as a genocide," said the Iraqi born priest, according to CNS News. “They call my church the church of martyrs or the church of blood.”

Fr. Bazi recounted that his church had been blown up twice, his car was bombed, he's been shot, kidnapped, and tortured with a hammer. He held up his bloody shirt as evidence. But he made clear that this is not out of the ordinary and that he's one of the lucky ones because he's still alive. “I look to my blood every day, and I remember and this is what happen to my people every day,” he reportedly said. “I’m lucky. I still look to my blood and remember, but what about my people? They don’t have any chance more to talk about our stories."

He said Christians there feel "forgotten" as the world has turned a blind eye to the violence against them. “I’m begging here--begging people of America to recognize it as a genocide,” he said.

Secretary of State John Kerry has until next Thursday, March 17, to declare it a "genocide" because of the requirements laid out in the omnibus spending bill.

The population of Christians in Iraq and Syria was, until recently, about 1.5 million. That number is now down to 250,000, according to recent studies. Many believe that there will be no Christians left within five years if nothing is done. Sadly, "nothing" seems to be the popular strategy right now.

Please pray.