The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed news the Federal Government would consider expanding Australia’s refugee intake of survivors from the war zones in Iraq and Syria.

ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said Australia had an obligation to reach out to the Christians and other religious minorities who have suffered persecution and genocide at the hands of ISIS.

“Hundreds of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities had been driven from their homes, killed or tortured by terrorist Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq,” Mr Shelton said.

“While the Government was generous in its initial 2015 commitment to offer 12,000 places for those suffering persecution in Iraq and Syria, clearly Australia has the capacity to do more.

“The Government is responding with compassion in the midst of unspeakable barbarity.

“We are living in extraordinary times and extraordinary generosity will be required before this crisis is resolved,” Mr Shelton said.

More than 6,000 people have so far signed an ACL petition calling on the Federal Parliament to recognise the genocide and for the Government to make a request to the United Nations Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court so the perpetrators can be brought to justice.