By Eva-Maria Kolmann, ACN International
Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, ACN Canada
Montreal, June 19, 2014 – Aid to the Church in Need has granted $150,000 in preliminary emergency aid to Christian refugees who fled Mosul after a wave of jihadist attacks in early June.
According to Emil Shimon Nona, Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, all of the approx. 3 000 Christian inhabitants of Mosul directly fled the city following the onset of the attacks; most found refuge in villages on the nearby Nineveh plains. The church has found provisional shelter for the refugees in schools, catechesis rooms and abandoned houses. It is “uncertain whether all of the families will be able to return to Mosul.”
The emergency aid is intended for the primary care of those refugees who left all of their possessions behind in Mosul. A few of the Christians have supposedly returned to Mosul, but most of the families are afraid and are staying in the emergency shelters. According to the archbishop, 1000 refugee families are currently receiving care.
Regina Lynch, Project Director at Aid to the Church in Need, said: “We are very close to this church and have shared in their suffering and worries since 1983. This never-ending suffering is like an open wound for us. Now more than ever, the Christians in Iraq need to know that Christians in the rest of the world are not leaving them alone, but are praying for them and also supporting them as much as they can. In addition to our ongoing projects, we would like to dispatch this urgent emergency aid to demonstrate this to our brothers and sisters.”
On 5 June, alleged militants of the terror organization ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) began to take over Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. Half of the inhabitants fled the city, including the entire Christian population. Jihadists continue to advance in Iraq and are taking over further cities.
Over the last five years, Aid to the Church in Need has supported Iraq with approximately 3.54 million dollars.