Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: In an interview with CNA, ICC’s Middle East regional manager shares a report based on time in Northern Iraq and the impact for the more than 1 million who’ve been displaced by the advances of ISIS. Simply staying alive is a day to day challenge of finding food, water, and a place to sleep for many in the area. Continued help is needed to ensure that basic supplies are provided. Currently, many have the feeling that without some sort of internationally secured safe haven they may never be able to return to the land where their families have lived for hundreds of years.

ICC has launched a project to provide aid to Iraq’s Christian community in this time of incredible need. To find out more or to donate visit: Iraqi Crisis Response

08/30/2014 Iraq (Catholic News Agency) – Christians and other religious minorities who have fled areas in Iraq that have fallen under Islamic State control are now helping one another to survive as refugees, an aid worker said.

“They themselves have been displaced and they’re going around caring for those who are in need, who are in situations like they are,” Todd Daniels, International Christian Concern regional manager for the Middle East, told CNA Aug. 27.

Last week, Daniels was in Iraq, where it is estimated that more than 1 million people have fled from their homes amid the invasion of the radical Islamic State, also known as ISIS. The militant group has taken control of numerous cities and ordered Christians and other religious minorities to convert, pay a tax known as a jizya, or be killed.

The fleeing Iraqis – including Christians and other religious minorities – have sought refuge in other areas, such as the northern city of Erbil.

Daniels said that while the situation is desperate, there is much hope in the way religious communities and refugees are working to improve life there.

“Probably one of the most striking impressions was just the activeness of the local churches,” he said. “From morning to night they’re out there providing aid, providing relief and actually, a lot of the man power, for the groups we were working with by people who themselves have been displaced.”
Aid groups and local churches are working to provide support, but humanitarian needs are “still very, very great.”

Some refugees hope that international security forces will help create a safe haven for Christians and other religious minorities, while others are just trying to grasp the reality that they will most likely never return to their homes.

“There’s really a feeling of not knowing what to do,” Daniels said.

Schools, parks and even unfinished shopping centers have been transformed into temporary housing, sometimes sheltering as many as 700 people. In what used to be a single kindergarten classroom, 25 families – roughly 100 people – have taken up residence, he said.

[Full Story]