KOC Steps Up Aid to Persecuted Christians in Middle East

persecuted christian girlHaving already donated more than $3 million in humanitarian aid to persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, the Knights of Columbus will expand its efforts even further with a national campaign to raise funds and foster awareness of the terrible suffering of Christians and others in the Middle East.

Many Christians may have already seen the powerful commercial on the expanded program that began airing this past weekend which shares the cold, hard facts about Christian persecution in the Middle East.

Not a single Christian is left in the city of Mosul, Iraq, after having inhabited the town for almost 2,000 years. Christians have become victims of religious cleansing in Syria and Iraq, hundreds killed and thousands left homeless after being forced to flee and are now desperate for food, housing and medical care.

“The lack of international response has been shocking,” the commercial states. “If we don’t help, who will?”

The Knights began its Christian Refugee Relief Fund in August 2014 with $1 million in matching funds that was quickly met and exceeded by its members and the public. The humanitarian assistance provided has included new housing for those who have had to flee their homes, as well as support for medical facilities in areas flooded with Christian and other refugees.

“Christians in the Middle East are facing a dire situation – and even extinction – while the response from the international community has been woefully inadequate,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson.

A gripping exposé on the deafening silence of the international community on this issue was published in the July 26 edition of The New York Times Magazine: “Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?” It reported that extremist groups “are enslaving, killing and uprooting Christians, with no aid in sight.”

In the article, which was featured on the magazine’s cover, author Eliza Griswold reported that, “according to a Pew study, more Christians are now faced with religious persecution than at any time since their early history.”

In lieu of the ominous situation facing Christians in the Middle East, the Knights have decided to expand their program of aid to Christian refugees and will announce additional details at their international convention which will be held August 4-6 in Philadelphia.

Those wishing to assist with the relief efforts can do so now by visiting www.christiansatrisk.org or by sending checks or money orders payable to Knights of Columbus Charities at P.O. Box 1966, New Haven, CT 06509-1966. The memo portion should indicate that the check is for Christian Refugee Relief.

One hundred percent of all donations directly supports humanitarian assistance and raising awareness for persecuted Christians and other religious minorities, especially in the Middle East. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc., is recognized by the IRS as a charitable organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

“Pope Francis has urged the international community to take action to help Christians in the Middle East,” Anderson says, “and, as an organization that has long supported victims of religious persecution, the Knights of Columbus is responding by asking our own members, and the public at large, to help us save the lives of people who are being persecuted simply because of their Christian faith.”


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