Capitol Conversations

Aid for Christians in Iraq and Syria: An inside look into the passage of HR 390

March 26, 2019

On December 11, 2018, House Resolution (H.R.) 390—the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018—became law. David Trimble and Nathaniel Hurd, two people who played a significant role in passing this bill, join Travis Wussow to discuss the almost two year battle to provide emergency aid to persecuted minorities in Iraq and Syria. They also discuss how this bill has been implemented since its passage and what hope we have for the situation on the ground.   

Guest Biography

David Trimble is Director of the Center for Religious Freedom Education at the Religious Freedom Institute. He is also a Senior Fellow of the RFI Middle East and International Religious Freedom Policy Action Teams. He was formerly a principal at the leading D.C. firm of Van Scoyoc Associates. For many years, David has provided counsel to federal agencies, independent clients, and governments on such varied topics as international affairs, foreign policy, education, and religious liberty.  Throughout his career, Mr. Trimble has provided leadership in the field of education – launching seminal programs and driving new policies and innovation. David holds a J.D. from Texas A&M University School of Law, M.Div. from Southwestern Seminary, and completed substantial post-graduate studies at Baylor University and Southwestern.

Nathaniel Hurd is a Senior Policy Advisor for the US Helsinki Commission. Hurd joined the Commission in October 2014. His portfolio includes international freedom of religion and humanitarian emergencies. Previously, he was Senior Policy Advisor for Conflicts & Disasters at World Vision and held similar positions at the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps. His 18-year career has mostly focused on international humanitarian and human rights crises, including those resulting from religious persecution, and his expertise includes the United Nations. Nathaniel has interviewed and spent time with many survivors of violence – in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Ethiopia, and Somalia – who were forced to flee from their homes and seek refuge in other countries as refugees or were internally displaced in their own. These survivors were from a cross-section of faiths and some were originally targeted for their faith. Nathaniel holds a B.A. in international relations from Hamilton College and Master’s of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Resources from the Conversation

Groups aiding Christians in Iraq and Syria:

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