Weekly Media Summary 28 July 2017

July

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq and Jordan.

This week’s media summary includes news about the rebuilding of Mosul post-ISIS and a feature about the Zaatari refugee camp which is now Jordan’s fourth largest city.

Iraq

Reuters: After IS, Mosul rebuilds moments, mosques – and society

Al Monitor: With Islamic State gone, barbers are busy in Mosul

Jordan

ABC News: Zaatari refugee camp: The ‘temporary’ shelter that’s become Jordan’s fourth largest city

Independent: Two Jordanians killed and Israeli man injured in shooting at Israeli embassy compound in Amman

 

After Mosul, we must continue to help Iraqi Christians

July

Turn on the television and you will see that Mosul has been liberated. This much-vaunted victory has cost 40,000 civilian lives. Some of the liberators have committed what is politely referred to in the western media as “extrajudicial killings” – throwing suspects off rooftops and running over them with tanks. Could this be a portent of the sectarian violence to come? If so, what future is there for Iraqi Christians?

The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh remains abandoned months after the town was liberated from Islamic State – Christians are too afraid to return 
 

Even with Mosul and the surrounding area wrenched from Islamic State control, the persecution of minorities, particularly Christians, has not stopped. During a recent speech in southern Iraq, Sheikh Alaa Al-Mousawi, head of Iraq’s Shia Endowment, called Christians “infidels who must convert to Islam or be killed”. We’ve come to expect this kind of rhetoric from Islamic State, but not from someone connected to the Iraqi government.

Sheikh Alaa Al-Mousawi (image obtained from YouTube)
 

In the north of the country, Iraqi Kurdistan is on the cusp of independence (a vote is planned for September). The semi-autonomous region currently shelters Iraq’s displaced Christian community but will this continue to be the case once independence has been attained? If they are allowed to remain, will Christians be afforded the full panoply of rights, including the right to work and the right to health care?

Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan
 

And what about Islamic State? Following reports about the death of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, will the  group collapse? The answer is probably not. Now it has been uprooted in Iraq, some have suggested that the group will become nebulous, that is to say it will scatter into the ether and spread its violent ideology where and when it can. In a sense, it will become more like its progenitor Al Qaeda.

Islamic State fighters annexed Mosul in the summer of 2014 – much of the city is now rubble
 

The future of Iraq and its religious minorities is more uncertain than ever. Sadly, western governments do not much care for the plight of Iraqi Christians. In America they are busy trying to deport them and the UK will only take 20,000 Syrian refugees, nearly all Muslim. Consequently, Iraqi Christians continue to languish in IDP camps or live as refugees in neighbouring countries.

We have been feeding the displaced and dispossessed since the humanitarian crisis began
 

It is only Christian charity that is helping these desperate people. With your support, we are continuing to feed over 7,000 Iraqi Christians, both in the north of the country and in Baghdad, where we fully find a health clinic at St George’s, the only Anglican church in Iraq. We are also feeding 700 Iraqi Christian families in Jordan. Please support our mission.

Making a donation

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to our humanitarian appeal by clicking here.

UK residents can also make a donation via text message by following the instructions below:

Thank you for your support,
The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 21 July 2017

July

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq and Jordan.

This week’s media summary includes news about a mooted ‘safe haven’ for Iraqi Christians in northern Iraq and an interesting analysis by Jordanian economist, Riad Al Khouri, that the Arab Spring continues to have seismic repercussions in the Middle East and beyond.

Iraq

National Catholic Register: Middle Eastern Christians Propose a Safe Haven in Iraq

Al-Monitor: Shiite Kurds challenge Iraqi Kurdistan independence

Jordan

The Jordan Times: ‘Arab Spring’ is a ‘continuous process’ – Jordanian economist

Newsweek: Jordan soldier sentenced to life for murder of three U.S. special forces

You give refugee children in Jordan hope

July

From the blood-soaked plains of northern Iraq to the dusty backstreets of Jordan, the 700 Iraqi Christian families in our care have lived through hell. It is thanks to your support that they still have hope. Please read on for the latest update and please make a donation (giving options at the bottom of this update).

Summer camp at the Assemblies of God Church
 

Our Iraqi refugee children have been attending summer camp at the various churches we partner with in Jordan. At the Assemblies of God Church in Madaba, a city to the south of the capital Amman, the children spent the day singing, laughing, playing, and learning about Jesus and his love for them. Aptly, Madaba is twinned with Bethlehem and has become a haven for Iraqi Christians since Islamic State invaded their homeland in the summer of 2014.

Summer camp at the Greek Catholic Church
 

At the Greek Catholic Church in Fuheis, which is run by the indefatigable Father Bolis, the children showed off their creativity, drawing pictures of Jesus.

They also made toys out of paper mache. This might seem perfectly normal until you consider that Islamic State banned toys in its territory. It is only in the last few weeks that dolls and teddy bears have gone on sale again in Mosul.

It is hard to be a child when you don’t have a home but through our church partnerships in Jordan, we are doing what we can to give the refugee children in our care a sense of normality as well as a place to practice their Christian faith. Please continue supporting this work.

Making a donation

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to our humanitarian appeal by clicking here.

UK residents can also make a donation via text message by following the instructions below:

Thank you for your support,
The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 14 July 2017

July

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq and Jordan.

This week’s media summary includes news about a reported war crime committed by Iraqi government forces in Mosul and new / high unemployment figures for women in Jordan.

Iraq

BBC News: Iraq ‘investigating’ Mosul cliff killing video’

Premier: Uncertain future for Iraqi Christians despite IS defeat

Jordan

The Jordan Times: Women unemployment increases to 33% in Q1

The Jordan Times: Amman’s Roman Theatre to host ‘first opera festival in Arab world’

 

 

The truth about the future of Christianity in Iraq

July

Iraqi President, Haider al-Abadi, announced this week “total victory” over Islamic State in Mosul. He further declared that the mission ahead was “to create stability”. Despite similar calls by Western politicians for the establishment of a pluralist society in which Iraq’s different religious groups can happily co-exist, it remains to be seen whether this can be achieved.

The abandoned Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh, northern Iraq, where a once-thriving Christian community used to worship
 

The Iraqi Christian refugees we are caring for in Jordan have told us that their persecution began long before the arrival of Islamic State. Like many of Iraq’s minority religious groups, they lived in isolated pockets, often surrounded by Sunni and Shia populations hostile to their presence. Even the Kurds, who have provided a safe haven of sorts, have openly expressed antipathy towards the Christians, denying them access to health care and jobs.

Voices of the persecuted: Alen (top left), Ammar and family (top right), 
sisters Afnan and Mariam with their mother (bottom left), Imad (bottom right)

We have heard many sad testimonies. Alen left his home town of Mosul after two young Muslim men threatened him in his shop, saying “this land is for Muslims, not Christians.” Ammar and his family were forced to flee the town of Qaraqosh to escape Salafi fanatics. Afnan explained how a Muslim friend turned on her shortly after the US-led invasion of Iraq, telling her she would “cut off her head”. Imad recounts how friends of his were murdered in their car because they were Christian. None of those we interviewed wish to return to Iraq. All are seeking asylum in the West.

Christian children at Ankawa IDP camp in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, 
receiving new clothes from our team on the ground
 

There are some who wish to return to their homes, most vocally the Assyrian Christians who come from northern Iraq. Many of them are still languishing in IDP camps in Kurdistan. We are feeding over 6,000 of them through our relief programmes. However, without a proper post-conflict resolution in Iraq, resettlement remains risky. Indeed, there is already talk of “Islamic State 2.0” rising from the ashes of defeat. What then for the Christians?

A typical scene in an IDP camp in Iraq Kurdistan
 
The fate of Iraq’s Christians still hangs in the balance and we need all the support we can get to help those brothers and sisters who are relying on us for food, shelter and health care. Please join us in our mission.

Making a donation to support our work

  • If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.
  • American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.
  • Alternatively, you can make a donation to our humanitarian appeal by clicking here.

    UK residents can also make a donation via text message by following the instructions below:

    Thank you for your support,

    The FRRME Team
     

FRRME are recruiting for an Admin Assistant

FRRME are a faith based relief organisation looking for an enthusiastic and capable

Administration Assistant to join our small friendly team.

 

FRRME is looking for an Administration Assistant to support the work of this UK registered charity providing relief and reconciliation in the Middle East.  The successful applicant will become a key part of our small but capable team of staff based in North East Hampshire.

They will be:

  • Assisting with administration, correspondence with our FRRME donors and updating database records.
  • Participate in the efficient and effective administration of the FRRME at the Petersfield office, under the supervision of the Office Manager.
  • Updating the WordPress website with reports and photographs provided by the Projects Team, and assisting with putting together our monthly Prayer Diary.
  • Being the first point of contact for many supporters when they contact our office by telephone or email.
  • We are a Christian UK-registered charity and it is a genuine occupational requirement that you are a committed Christian and in full agreement with the aims and objectives of FRRME.
  • Click HERE for full job description.

 

Hours                35 hours per week.  Job share possible.

Salary:               £18,200 per annum.

Application:     By CV and covering letter to office@frrme.org.

Deadline:         Midday, Monday 24th July, 2017.

 

 

Weekly Media Summary 7 July 2017

July

Each week we post a selection of recent online items where you can find out about the latest developments in the countries in which the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East operates – Iraq and Jordan.

This week’s media summary includes news about President Barzani’s bid for an independent Kurdish state and King Abdullah of Jordan’s message of support to Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi following a series of victories by government forces against Islamic State.

Iraq

Reuters: Iraqi Kurdish leader says no turning back on independence bid

Rudaw: EU funding demining projects to allow Iraqi IDPs to return

Jordan

The Jordan Times: King congratulates Iraq’s Abadi over victories

Petra News Agency: Amman Summer festival starts Thursday night

MEPs back Iraqi Christians’ right to return home

June

At FRRME, we remember 29th June 2014 very clearly. This was the day the IS Caliphate was declared in the Great Mosque in Mosul. Three years of suffering have followed – the persecution of religious minorities, including the indigenous Christian population of Iraq, the destruction of civil society, and the condemnation of IS genocide by the UK Parliament, US Government, and European Parliament. Thankfully, charities have risen magnificently to the challenge of providing support to the persecuted, particularly the Christians of Iraq whose number has dwindled significantly.

The desecrated baptismal font at the Church of the Immaculate Conception 
in the Christian town of Qaraqosh near Mosul

Last week, along with other NGOs and 60 representatives from the Iraqi Christian community, MEPs from the EPP group in the European Parliament invited us to attend a conference titled: ‘A Future for Christians in Iraq’. The focal point was the establishment of a safe zone in the Nineveh Plain where Iraqi Christians can live free from persecution. The Kurdish Regional Government, a key player in reconstruction talks, has been hospitable and supportive, with a large displaced Christian population already residing in its territory, and with additional IDPs from Baghdad also welcomed. With IS on the verge of defeat in Mosul, 40% of Iraqi Christians now wish to return home (up from 3% in 2016) but there are fears for their security. After much discussion, an agreement was signed at the conference which fully supports Iraqi Christians’ right to return home. This is a major political step forward.

Iraqi Christian leaders and MEPs hold hands in solidarity at the European Parliament

While there is new political support for Iraq’s beleaguered Christian community, their return to the Nineveh Plain will take time to implement as homes and businesses have been destroyed. In the meantime, with your support, we will continue to provide for the Iraqi refugees in our care.

Bible study class for the children of the Nazarene Church in Amman
 

In June, we contributed £2,710 / $3,500 to the Nazarene Church in Amman, which is one of four church partners we are working with in Jordan. This money helped feed 263 refugee families, 90% of which are Christian. Our support also pays for activities for the refugees, including Bible study and play group for the children. As of this week, our Project Officer in Jordan, Helena Scott, is teaching English to the children. As you can see below, they enjoyed their first lesson!

Children at Helena Scott’s English class
 

To read more about the conference at the European Parliament please click here. If you would like to help us in our mission, please see the giving options below.

Making a donation to support our work

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to our humanitarian appeal by clicking here.

UK residents can also make a donation via text message by following the instructions below:

Thank you for your support,

The FRRME Team

The Right to Return: “A Future for Christians in Iraq” Conference Brief

‘A FUTURE FOR CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ’ CONFERENCE, 28-30 June, 2017
European Parliament, Brussels – a brief update on this significant and necessary meeting of Iraq’s Christian church leaders, politicians and NGOs:

As our FRRME supporters know, the Iraqi Christian population has decreased from 1.5 million in 2003 to around 300,000 today. Furthermore, 3 years of IS violence has meant Christians in Iraq, along with minorities such as Yezidis and Shabaks have not suffered mere persecution. The European Parliament, along with The White House, the US State Department, the U.K. House of Commons and several others have designated the atrocities committed by IS as no less than genocide.

SIGNING OF BRUSSELS PAPER on Friday 30th June 2017:

60 representatives from Iraqi Christian parties, leading Iraqi church bishops and ministers, KRG, Yezidis, Turkmen, Ka’kai, as well as NGOs, including FRRME who are a sponsoring partner, along with representatives from the EPP Group, EU (the largest political group in the European Parliament) and US State Dept witnessed the presentations from candidates, followed by a signing of a joint position paper on reconstruction, the right to return, reconciliation, security and the possibility of a Governate (not autonomy, self-rule or external force). Both the Ambassador of Iraq to the EU Dr Jawad Al-Hindawy representing Iraqi President Fuad Masum and Fawzi Harrison, Personal Representative of HE President Barzani gave presentations in support of the unique and vital part that Iraqi Christians contribute to a united Iraq, whether residing in the Kurdistan region, Baghdad or in the Nineveh Plain.

Lars Adaktusson MEP restated that the demands of Iraqi Christians of the right to live in their own homes freely, safely with the opportunity to follow their Christian faith as equal citizens in Iraqi society were just, legal and fair.

This all happened at a key time in Iraqi history. As Dr Jawad Al-Hindawy stated the 29 June 2017 marked the end of the IS caliphate, the ‘establishment of demise’ as the siege of Mosul came to an end. This is exactly 3 years to the day that the caliphate was declared in the Great Mosque in Mosul.

More analysis of the impact of this agreement will follow from our FRRME team. Click HERE copy of the proposal agreement and signatories. Further information at www.nineveh.eu

Video of signing of Brussels paper by:
Beth Nahrain Democratic Party, Beth Nahrain Patriotic Union, Chaldean Democracy Forum, Chaldean National Congress, Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council, Chaldon Ashor and Syriac Assembly Movement witnessed by Lars Adaktusson MEP, EPP Group and Johannes de Jong, Sallux.

Making a donation to support our work

If you are a UK resident, you can make a single or regular donation via our website by clicking here.

American supporters can make a donation via our sister organisation, FRRME America, by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can make a donation to our humanitarian appeal by clicking here.

UK residents can also make a donation via text message by following the instructions below:

Thank you for your support,

The FRRME Team
Pages: 1 2 3 33
Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Director of Operations
Get our news, prayer updates and blog posts straight to your inbox Make a 
<a href=Get our news, prayer updates and blog posts straight to your inbox Signup to receive our e-newsletter

Archives