Please if you haven't already, send your letters! The more attention we bring to their plight, the more likely the State Department will grant them refugee resettlement status. It is a vital moment in the push to get the Mandaeans refugee status. Here is an earlier link to template letter form and addresses.
The Associated Press has reported that four Republicans and one Democrat (Joseph R. Pitts, R-Pa., Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, Trent Franks, R-Ariz., Michael E. Capuano, D-Mass., and Marilyn N. Musgrave, R-Colo.) have sent a letter on Tuesday to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice urging the Bush administration to do more to help will appropriate resettlement programs for Mandaean refugees that have fled to Jordan, Syria, Yemen and Indonesia, where they are still be persecuted.
Judy Redman sent me a link to a BBC report from March 4th about their continued persecution. Jim Davila has posted on this Associated Press Report earlier today. My thanks to both of them!The letter states that the refugee resettlement program in the U.S. should be expanded to include the Mandaeans. The Associated Press quotes two congress representatives as saying:
"The cost of doing nothing could very well be the disappearance of an entire ethno-religious minority. Clearly, we must not let that happen," Pitts said.Mr. Nashi, the spokesperson for the Mandaean Society of America, hopes that the support from the congress members will place more focus on Mandaeans as a "special group among other refugees. I hope it will produce some action from the Department of State towards accepting (Mandaeans) as a small vulnerable ethnic-religious group," Nashi said, according to the Associated Press report.
"I felt it essential for me to write Secretary Rice and request her assistance with the Mandaean refugees because their cause was very compelling," Gohmert said. "They are seeking religious freedom."
Kurtis Cooper, a U.S. State Department spokesman, said that the plight of Mandaeans is something the department is aware of.