In August 2014, more than 120,000 Christians fled Qaraqosh - Iraq’s major Christian city - as the murderous forces of the Islamic State advanced. Nearby, 50,000 Yazidis were trapped in a mountainous wasteland after fleeing a town named Sinjar. The assault followed the sacking of Iraq's second-largest city: Mosul. The refugees, the majority of them Chaldeans, left their homes and possessions behind. Since then, they have been stranded in precarious refugee camps in Kurdish Iraq, where they continue to suffer material, psychological and spiritual hardships. Some thousands of Iraqi Christians have sought refuge in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.
A Catholic relief agency, Aid to the Church in Need, announced an aid package of $4 million to be given to the Chaldean refugees on the anniversary of their dispossession. The bulk of the fresh ACN funding will pay the coming six months’ rent for displaced Christian families living in and around Erbil. Funds will also go toward providing food for at least 13,000 families. In addition, ACN will cover living expenses for both Chaldean and Syriac-Catholic clergy.
In an August 6 statement, George Marlin, chairman of ACNUSA, said that “the latest series of projects will ensure the continuation of the Christian presence in Iraq and the wider Middle East. Thanks to the compassion of our benefactors, ACN has been able to nourish the hope of those displaced within the country.”
Currently, there are approximately 8.2 million people in Iraq who are in need of aid. Iraq has 3.1 million people internally displaced people since August 2014.
Since 2011, ACN has spent more than $8M to help Iraqi Christians; one-third of ACN grants have paid for the rental of reliable housing for internally displaced. ACN will also continue provide significant amounts of aid to Christian refugees in Lebanon Syria, in particular humanitarian supplies for Melkite and Syrian-Catholic families in the city of Homs.
U.S. Navy personnel have discovered the remains of an American aviator who was shot down in combat over the Pacific Ocean in 1944. A team aboard USNS ...