Friday, August 08, 2014

What You Can Do for Christians in Iraq

As many people know, the crazies in Iraq are trying hard to exterminate Christians and other minority groups like the Yezedis (who are basically Zoroastrians). If half of what I read on the internet is true, it is basically a whole out genocide.

It has become trendy on Facebook to post the image of the Arabic letter nun. You can research that at your leisure. I have mixed feelings about doing things of this nature. I guess it does raise awareness to an issue that the Western media has pretty much swept under the rug. I recoil at political internet bandwagons like this because in the end, it ends up being well meaning people patting each other on the back for "doing something" when what is actually done in real life is incredibly minimal. Posting something as your Facebook picture perhaps is a start, but do not fall into the trap of thinking you have now done something and are now not morally obligated to do anything else.

So, what can you do other than post Facebook stuff that might actually have some substance?

There are several options:

1. You can educate yourself. Visit www.indefenseofchristians.org.  There is lots of good information to be found there on the very complex issues and groups involved.

2. You can donate money or resources. There are several websites out there, of which I am dubious of some. Bona Fide ones to consider are the following:

The Catholic Near East Welfare Association which is more than just Iraq.

HelpIraq.org which is sponsored by the Chaldean Catholic Church in the USA. Chaldeans are an Eastern Catholic Rite which is one of the Christian groups that have been in Iraq for nearly 1700+ years and have been almost entirely removed from Iraq under the ISIS regime. The website has more than just a Donate Money button; you can actually adopt an Iraqi family amongst others.

For Anglicans, my friend, Canon Andrew White, who has more or less had to go into hiding temporarily, runs a church and clinic in Iraq. You can be updated on his ministry and how to help there at the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.  When he has access to the internet, he has several social media outlets that he updates when he can. In fact, the BBC interviewed him (he said on Facebook he was in a "secure location" for the interview) a few days ago:



3. Pray.

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