Mark Burnett delivered an impassioned plea on Glenn's radio program last week for Americans to demand the State Department declare what ISIS is doing to Christians in the Middle East a genocide.
Burnett joined Glenn again on Friday to share the results.
The House of Representatives voted 393-0 to approve the measure, and with the added pressure of the petition at StopTheChristianGenocide.org, the State Department gave in and made the declaration on Thursday.
Watch the clip of Glenn's conversation with Burnett or read the transcript below.
GLENN: We have really, really good news. Secretary of State John Kerry and the US State Department has declared that what's happening to the Christians in the Middle East is indeed genocide. Mark Burnett who is a leader on this, him and his wife Roma Downey have been working on this and dedicating their life to saving the Christians. And Roma and Mark are leaders on this front, and we are thrilled to have Mark on the phone to share this good news.
Hi, Mark, how are you?
MARK: Hi, Glenn. And I want to thank you and your subscribers, your listeners, because you guys made a huge difference in the last week.
It was so much pressure that there was a historic 393 votes to zero affirmation in the House, which really -- yesterday, in fact, John Kerry made that decision that the United States of America would declare it genocide. So I'm so grateful to you and everybody who follows you.
GLENN: So, Mark, here is the thing: In the old days, like, I don't know, five years ago even, language mattered. Tell me why this matters now that the United States has declared this genocide and it's going to change something.
MARK: Well, a couple of things. Well, several things. One thing is, it now means, if you are a member of ISIS or any such group and even 20 years from now, we find you, you are going to trial for genocide.
GLENN: For war crimes.
MARK: Another thing is that now there needs to be a place at the bargaining table for the Christian community. You know this Glenn. You've dealt with it.
For centuries, these Christian communities have been in towns and villages and have been in entire towns, entire regions, and because of ISIS, they've all fled or been killed and kicked out of their rightful Christian homeland.
The new borders are about to be drawn in the next few years. These Christian communities deserve and rightfully now will get a place at the bargaining table.
GLENN: So what you're saying is kind of -- I mean, I don't expect you to be this dramatic, but you have a shot of kind of what happened with Israel and the Jews after World War II. You have the chance of actually having their own control over their own lands.
MARK: Absolutely. And you should know that David Saperstein, who is the head of -- in United States, he's the head of religious freedom in the United States. Obviously, he's -- we all know that his last name is Jewish, and he stepped up in this and was a big voice to help the Christian community. And obviously, any Jew would know what "genocide" means to a great people.
And I think the biggest -- such a historic day, and I know from working so hard from the behind the scenes, this was touch-and-go. And you and your listeners made a huge difference.
Thank you, Glenn. I'm going to tell you something that's going to annoy you a little bit, which is, in the statement though -- this is so Glenn Beck going to get angry now.
It had a sentence, which said, "But this doesn't mean we're going to take any action."
GLENN: Yeah. So here's -- so, Mark, are so here's the question I have. And that's really my first question. Words don't really seem to matter.
But let me ask you this. You know because we've been working side by side to get these Christians out to any country that will take them. Will this help us negotiate with other countries to get these Christians a place to go?
MARK: Yes. It has to. Also, even though the State Department has added a sentence to the declaration, yes, we agree, this is genocide against Christians. However, it doesn't mean the US will do anything about it.
Well, the next thing we're pushing is, when you declare genocide against any group, and now it's been specifically about the Christians. You have to do something. The world knows what that word means. That's why the Department of State was so nervous about declaring genocide. But they've done it now. They cannot put the genie back in the bottle.
The Importance of Declaration
GLENN: I will tell you that in doing research on the genocide that happened in the 1940s with, you know, the Hungarians and the Jews and the homosexuals and the gypsies and you name it, the United States would not declare that genocide. Up until 1944, they wouldn't even look at it. They had all the information. This is a huge step for the United States at this point to say, "Yes. We've looked at it. And it is genocide."
MARK: Yes. It's amazing. And I'm so grateful. Listen, I've been friends of yours -- Roma and I friends of yours for a long time. And we love you. And we love what you stand for. And thank you. Because, yes, it has made -- it is historic. And I have to tell you, I didn't even know the last minute what was going to happen. I was so grateful when -- it passed 393-0.
And Thursday, for -- you know, on St. Patrick's Day, yesterday, for the Secretary of State to agree with that. Now we need to gather -- as a community, the Christian community, a powerful community, if we want to be, we need to take that designation and make sure something now happens to give our Christian brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq a way they can live their lives without being forced to deny Jesus.
The Power of Transformation and the Spirit of God
GLENN: Can I ask you a question? You're a guy who up until recently has just been kind of -- you know, you were the guy who made reality television. What is it that changed in you that made you -- because I know, everything that you do now is dedicated to doing good and doing right. What happened?
MARK: Yes. It really shifted on making the Bible serious. I think it would be hard for anybody who is smart to be spending years taking the risk of bringing the Bible to prime time television, which means reading it every day, thinking about it, being part of the church community, to not be affected. It's supernatural. There's a natural world and a supernatural world. And I believe the Holy Spirit is a supernatural part of faith and Christianity. And it affected me.
And the good news is, that's a good question. But in the end, that's what it must be. And I'm just glad that it happened because it's given me more of a genuine purpose. Yeah, I'm making a lot of hit shows. But the Boy, Survivor, Shark Tank, all our shows, they're doing great. And I still love doing that. But in my rest of my time, I'm focused on more important things like this. And I'm just grateful for my relationship with you and that you've stepped up so quickly and that your listeners, your subscribers have made such an impact
GLENN: I will tell you, Mark, there have been a lot of TV greats in your position. You will not only be remembered for changing television, but you in the end will be remembered as a great humanitarian, somebody who actually did something because you believed it. And it is good to see a guy like a -- I don't know. A Jimmy Stewart or an Audrey Hepburn or a -- you know, somebody like that, Frank Capra, that is back in Hollywood and can be a real positive for good values.
Thanks, Mark, I appreciate it. God bless.
MARK: Thank you. God bless you. Thank you.
Featured Image: United States Secretary of State John Kerry attends the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict at ExCel on June 13, 2014 in London, England. The four-day conference on sexual violence in war is hosted by Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN Special Envoy and actress Angelina Jolie (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)