Weekly Media Summary 21 April 2017

April

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 ongoing battle for Mosul between ISIS and Iraqi government forces, and a new initiative by IKEA to employ refugees in Jordan to produce handmade goods.

Iraq

Al Jazeera: Iraqi forces ‘make further gains’ against ISIL in Mosul

Gulf News: Iraq ruling coalition opposes Kurdish independence referendum

Jordan

Curbed: IKEA will employ refugees to produce handmade goods in Jordan

The Jordan Times: Muslim youth take initiative to guard churches as Easter celebrated

 

Easter at St George’s Church in Baghdad

April

At St George’s Church in Baghdad, where our work began and where we are fully funding a health clinic, the congregation celebrated Easter amid worsening sectarian violence. On Good Friday a bomb went off in the city’s Al-Maalef district killing two people and injuring four. Despite this, hundreds of people came to the church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Easter service was led by the Rt Rev Michael Lewis, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, who washed the feet of the parishioners. To watch a video of the Easter Sunday service click here.

Sadly, in other parts of Iraq Christianity has been driven out. A report in The New York Times this week showed footage of Qaraqosh in the north of the country. The journalist described it as a “ghost town”. Our team in Iraq visited Qaraqosh in January and found the same thing. Despite Daesh being beaten, Christians are still too afraid to go back to their homes.

We are continuing to feed 7,000 Christians in Iraq, many of whom have fled Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. Others remain in Baghdad and receive food packages we provide through St George’s Church. If you would like to support this work or any of our other projects, please see the giving options at the bottom of this newsletter.

Special thanks to a special supporter
 

London: Joseph Moore ran from the Imperial War Museum to the Iraqi Embassy to highlight the needs of the persecuted church in the Middle East. He also raised £434 / $556 for our cause. Thank you Joseph, we really appreciate your effort. We encourage others to participate in this sort of fundraising as it really helps spread the word about our work.

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 emergency 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 April 2017

April

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 ISIS’ loss of territory in Iraq, comments from Muqtada al-Sadr calling for Bashar al-Assad to step down, and a positive story about how women in Jordan are making inroads into male-dominated jobs.

Iraq

The Independent: Isis now in control of just 7 per cent of country, says Iraq

Rudaw: Iraq’s Al-Sadr urges Syrian president to step down

Jordan

Al Monitor: Female plumbers in Jordan clear path for women in labor market

The Jordan Times: ‘King delivered powerful messages on Palestine to US’

 

Support the persecuted church this Easter

April

For the past 15 years, with your help, we have been transforming lives. We are proud of what we have achieved so far, despite our small size. But times are changing. A dark shadow has cast itself over Iraq. The war there has made 3 million people homeless and decimated the ancient Christian community in the north of the country. In 2003, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Today, it is estimated that there are less than 200,000.

The desecrated baptismal font at the Church of the Immaculate Conception 
in the northern Iraqi town of Qaraqosh

The churches of Iraq, though battered by war, remain faithful to Jesus Christ and committed to their congregations. In the bombed-out cities you will find faith undeterred by persecution. However, the people we are helping are exhausted by their plight. Sadly, they are not supported by the international community (which offers them little assistance) but by the kindness of fellow Christians in the West whose generosity has helped keep them alive.

Many displaced children now find themselves living in makeshift tents on the arid plains of Iraqi Kurdistan, or in overcrowded church compounds 

Through our partnerships with the Syrian Orthodox and Armenian churches, as well as our work with St George’s Church in Baghdad, we are feeding  7,048 Iraqi Christians. That is the equivalent of 1,400 families. Afnan, who was originally from Baghdad and who now lives in Amman with our support, describes the shocking sectarianism which forced her and her family to flee their home:

Afnan (right) with her sister Mariam (left) and mother, Vian

Afnan: “After the war [in 2003] anti-Christian sentiment was much worse and more open. My closest friend came to me once and said she must kill me and cut off my head. She said I was an infidel and should become a Muslim and start wearing the hijab. She said we [her family] should all become Muslims. She would always say the Bible was corrupted.”

Sadly, war in Iraq has driven a wedge between friends but as we celebrate Easter we pray that hope, peace and reconciliation returns to that broken land. The people we are helping, people like Afnan and her family, need your support more than ever. To make a donation this Easter, 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 emergency appeal by clicking here.

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

May this blessed celebration of Easter bring you faith, hope, love and joy.

The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 7 April 2017

April

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 plight of Christians in Mosul and Iraqi Kurdistan, and Jordan’s strengthening of ties between the UK and Saudi Arabia.

Iraq

Christian Daily: Mosul Christians still afraid of violence after reconstruction

Iraqi News: Barzani commends Iraqi Christians’ endurance during challenging times

Jordan

Daily Mail: Britain to offer Jordan more trainers in anti-IS strikes

Arab News: Amman talks embodied strong ties between Jordan and Saudi Arabia: King Salman

More than 300,000 people displaced from Mosul

April

The UN said this week that more than 300,000 people have fled the besieged city of Mosul. Islamic State militants are reportedly holding the northwestern part of the city, using civilians as human shields. Those who manage to escape show signs of their capture – this week, our team on the ground saw young men shaving their beards off (they were forced to grow beards by Islamic State).

While the eastern half of the city has been liberated, on the ground conditions are terrible. Recent footage shows how desperate the people are for food (click here to watch). People think that because Islamic State is being defeated in Mosul that the situation for its residents is improving. It is not. There are more displaced people than ever and the needs are growing every day.

Dr Sarah Ahmed, our Director of Operations in Middle East, is leading our relief efforts in the region but sadly Iraqi Christians continue to be ignored by the international community. It is only thanks to the charity of Christians in the West that these people are being fed. With your support, the total number of Iraqi Christians we are now feeding is 7,048 (approximately 1,400 families).

This week, as part of her trip to the Middle East, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced a new military training partnership with Jordan, where we are helping a community of Iraqi Christian refugees. Sadly, there was no talk, at least not publicly, of helping those Christians who have been languishing in the country for years waiting for asylum to the West. Perhaps the subject will come up when the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Revd Justin Welby, visits the country in May.

Many of the people we are helping are in a state of limbo. They include doctors, school teachers, civil servants, children; all of whom are forced to live in tents on dusty plains miles from home. Many arrive with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Your precious support through donations helps us to feed and clothe these people. See below for a breakdown of how your donations help.

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 emergency appeal by clicking here.

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

Thank you,
The FRRME Team

April 2017 Prayer Diary

Please click the button below to read our monthly prayer diary:

April 2017 Prayer Diary

 

Please note that the Prayer Diary is also accessible through the new Prayermate App which can be accessed by following the instructions below:

 

Instructions for Prayermate App

 

Weekly Media Summary 31 March 2017

March

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 battle for Mosul, with reports that Isis is shooting anyone who tries to flee the city; and news about a two-day meeting of the Arab League in Jordan which concluded with calls for the creation of a Palestinian state, as well as a signed letter condemning Iran for “meddling” in the region.

Iraq

The Guardian: Mosul families trapped on the frontline of the war against Isis: ‘What can we do?’

The Independent: People in besieged Mosul Old City ‘dying of starvation’ as Isis shoots anyone who tries to flee

Jordan

Gulf News: Arab summit convenes in Amman amid pessimism about drastic decisions

Rudaw: Rudaw sees draft resolution from Arab leaders in Amman against Iran

 

Exodus or Execution: The Hell of Mosul

March

“ISIS Burns 3 Women Alive for Refusing to Slaughter Innocent Civilians” read  a news story in the Christian Post last Saturday. The message was clear: civilians trapped in the western half of Mosul are being used as pawns in an obscene fight to the death, killed in horrendous ways, or forced to kill others.

While this is happening, we are continuing to feed thousands of people who have fled the city and surrounding area, many of them children. Below are some photos of the children you have helped to feed (taken this week). On their behalf, thank you.

Is the West doing enough to help persecuted Christians in Iraq?
 

We participate in a caucus of Christian charities and NGOs which regularly meets to discuss the plight of the persecuted church in Iraq. This week, we met with Stephen Rasche, aid coordinator in the archdiocese of Erbil, who updated us on the situation facing Christians in Iraq. The news was stark:

  • The number of Christians in Iraq has fallen from 1.5 million in 2003 to around 200,000 today.
  • Of the $900 million in relief provided by the US through the UN, none has found its way to the Christians because the UN judges that they are receiving help from elsewhere.
  • The cost of rebuilding Christian villages destroyed by ISIS in northern Iraq could exceed £160 million.

FRRME trustee, Christopher Segar, who attended the meeting, said: “If there were stronger voices from Christian leaders [in the West] it would make our work much easier.” This is indeed the case. To read an article about the meeting please click here.

Support your persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ

Your donations mean everything to us. They help buy essential items such as clothes, food and water. Regular giving enables us to plan ahead and keep the long queues of people fed. Please contact office@frrme.org for info about how to set up a standing order. Below is an infographic showing how your donations will help.

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 emergency appeal by clicking here.

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

Thank you,
The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 24 March 2017

March

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 features news about the worsening humanitarian situation in Mosul and a UN report about the lack of human development, i.e. education, in Jordan and other Arab countries.

Iraq

The Christian Science Monitor: After ISIS: For Iraqis, reconciliation in Mosul will be challenging, and vital

The Independent: ‘Worst yet to come’ in final push to free Mosul from Isis, says UN

Jordan

The Jordan Times: Youth and women ‘left behind’ in Arab region development progress – UNDP

The Jordan Times: Arab summit’s preparatory meeting focuses on inter-Arab trade

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Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Director of Operations
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