American documentary filmmaker Matthew VanDyke, who said he was friends with beheaded journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, is fighting back against the Islamic State in a big way after the group murdered his friends.
He formed a group called the Sons of Liberty International, which uses donations to help train and arm local militias to defend themselves against the Islamic State.
“What I’ve seen is Christianity is under threat of extinction in Iraq,” VanDyke told Glenn Beck on Tuesday. “There’s been a large diaspora of the Christian population, and this is really all or nothing for them. They’re either going to be able to provide for their own defense and convince their people to stay, or we’re going to see the end of Christianity in Iraq.”
“My motivation for this is Christianity in Iraq, as well as ISIS killing two of my friends, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and me looking for a way to make a contribution to fight against ISIS,” he continued.
VanDyke said his organization brings in U.S. military veterans and experts to train Iraqi Christians, and they also facilitate meetings with the State Department to try to get them U.S. support. They recently finished training a battalion of over 300 men, he said, who are currently located north of Mosul.
“So we have a track record of success, and we did this at a fraction of the cost of course that any other company or that the U.S. government would do,” he remarked. “A whole range of services, and we do it all for free because they would never be able to afford it. We rely on the public to get involved, to go to the website and contribute in order to keep these operations going.”
Beck also spoke with Johnnie Moore, author of “Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard,” about the threat of the Islamic State at home and abroad.
“I have a price list — a price list, so hard to even think about — it says Yazidi Christian girls, 1-9 years old, $170,” Moore remarked. “They kidnap these Christian families. They say in their literature they want to rape their wives and enslave their daughters. They behead the men. They’ve done it over and over and over again. There were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq in 2003. At best there are 150,000 left.”
“They’re highly motivated to defend their lands despite everything they’ve been through and the dangers and the horrific things ISIS has done,” VanDyke added. “They still want to stand up and defend Christianity in Iraq.”
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