November 2017 Prayer Diary

Please click  November Prayer Diary to see this month’s bulletin

Please click HERE for our Christmas card appeal.

If you would like to receive regular monthly updates, please contact our office@frrme.org.

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With best wishes from the FRRME team

 
Now therefore, while we have time, let us do good to every person, especially to the members of the household of faith.Galatians 6:10. Aramaic Bible ©2013.

Weekly Media Summary 10 November 2017

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 rise of Shia militias in post-ISIS Iraq and an upcoming anti-ISIS conference in Jordan.

Iraq

The New Arab: The Iraq Report: Simmering insurgency looms as IS rolled back

Independent: Arbaeen: Millions of Shia Muslims take part in world’s greatest pilgrimage as Isis is finally defeated

Jordan

The Jordan Times: Amman to host anti-Daesh coalition’s meeting

Al Bawaba: Jordan to Build Largest Ever Solar Plant in a Refugee Camp Worldwide

Verse of the Day

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ Job 37:5-6 NIV

Meet the team at St George’s Clinic, Baghdad

In a country where religious war has taken hold, read about the medical clinic where Christians and Muslims work together to help people of all faiths

The medical team at St George’s Clinic in Baghdad continues to treat people of all faiths despite the recent spate of sectarian bombings. Since the retaking of Mosul in the north of the country by the Iraqi army, the capital has been subjected to frequent attacks by Islamic State. The security situation has been made worse still by the fallout from the Kurdish independence referendum which has seen fighting between Kurdish separatists and Iraqi security forces. Despite this, the Christian and Muslim staff at the clinic continue to work together to provide the best health care possible.

Meet Fatin. She is a Christian and the head receptionist at the clinic. She lives with her parents in a modest home. Along with her brother Fareed, who is a security guard at St George’s Church, she takes care of her elderly parents. Her father was recently diagnosed with cancer and, with your support, we are helping with the cost of his treatment.

This is Sara. She is a Muslim and a pharmacist at the clinic. Her parents died when she was very young and she put her life on hold to support her younger siblings, working multiple jobs to put them through school. Sara works very hard but her salary doesn’t cover everything so we provide her with £115 ($150) a month in rental assistance.

New hope for the persecuted Christians of Iraq

A crucifix embedded in the wall of St George’s Church in Baghdad

As a Christian charity, we are called to help the displaced and the dispossessed regardless of creed. However, as we have repeatedly highlighted in these updates, the aid that Western governments give to the UN does not reach the Christians. This is because Christians in Iraq cannot go to UN camps for fear of being targetted by other groups. Instead, they seek shelter in churches and rely on the charity of fellow Christians in the West.

Thankfully, this is starting to change. Having listened to the concerns of church leaders, the US government recently announced that it would provide direct financial support to persecuted Christians and other minorities via its aid-giving arm, USAID. Sadly, the British government has yet to follow suit. It’s position continues to be “take it up with the UN”. Rest assured we will continue to make representations to decision makers at the highest levels of government in the hope they will change their approach.

London supporters, please join this Procession of Witness

We would like to encourage those supporters who live in (or near) London to join us on this Procession of Witness on Saturday 18th November 2017:

 

Please support our mission

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.

Thank you for your support!

The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 3 November 2017

November

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 the second part of Patrick Cockburn’s special report on Kirkuk and an op-ed in Al Bawaba News which highlights the growing tension between the Jordanian government and EU on the issue of Syrian refugees.

Iraq

Independent: How the Kurds lost Iraq: ‘They had tanks and planes and we had no chance’

Reuters: Iraq not equipped to try Islamic State’s atrocities in Mosul: UN

Jordan

Al Bawaba News: Opinion: Jordan’s Government Must Encourage Refugees to Return Home

The Jordan Times: Empowering refugees and absorbing them

Verse of the Day

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (Romans 13:1 NIV)

First al-Qaeda, then Daesh – one woman’s incredible story of survival in Iraq

November

Today I met with Marlene, her husband Jinan, and their two children Mariam (9) and Miran (5). This family graciously shared their story with me and it is one that I will never forget. Marlene is originally from Qaramless, a small town near Mosul. She lived there with her immediate and extended family until her father was brutally killed by al-Qaeda in 2007.

Her father worked at the local church alongside the priest – her father and the priest were killed together (Marlene witnessed this). The man responsible threatened everyone in the community and told them they were not allowed to bury her father, that he would personally kill anyone who tried. Thankfully, Marlene’s brother, who was 17 at the time, was able to sneak into the church and recover the body and the family was able to give him a Christian burial.

After the murder of their father, Marlene and her family received several death threats and so they fled to Qaraqosh, a Christian town near Mosul. However, a few weeks later Marlene’s mother passed away. Marlene is the eldest of 7 children and as such she inherited the responsibility of caring for her young siblings. Money was extremely tight and the family were forced into putting two of the younger brothers into an orphanage as they could not support them.

In 2008, Marlene brought her family to Jambour where her husband’s family is from. They lived there with her husband’s 4 handicapped sisters. They struggled to support the increasing number of family members dependent on them. The local church provided them with a tiny windowless house that was not really habitable – they were told they could live there if they could repair it. As Christians, it was difficult to find work and they struggled constantly to make ends meet.

When Daesh came things got worse. More and more young Sunni men in the town were recruited to join Daesh and the Christian families were increasingly threatened, scared and vulnerable. The family tried to flee to Erbil seven times, often sleeping rough, terrified of what was happening back in Jambour. Each time they were refused entry until finally in 2014 the Kurdish police allowed them and 50 other Christian families to go to the city of Dohuk.

In Dohuk living conditions were not much better. Marlene lived with her family in a tiny house with 23 other people and was helped once more by a local church. Eventually, they were kicked out of the house and she set up a tent for her family outside. She struggled to find a way to send her children to school. During this time her uncle was kidnapped by Daesh and to this day they still do not know his fate.

Things changed for the better in 2015 when they came to Jordan. They moved to Madaba (a town to the south of Amman) where they found support and hope from the Christian community there, as well as support from us. We provide the family with money for rent. Marlene is extremely grateful. They live in a tiny flat but their faith is ever present. Posters of Jesus are taped to the wall and this time there is at least one window to let some light in.

Helena Scott

Project Officer, Jordan

Please make 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.

Thank you for your support!

The FRRME Team

Extra help for Iraqi refugee families this Christmas

October

This year we would like to do something special for the Iraqi refugees we are helping.  We would like you, our supporters, to write them a Christmas card. Your message doesn’t have to be person-specific, rather an expression of Christian love for the displaced and dispossessed. All you have to do is post your card to us at the below address and we will do the rest (please note, you do not have to buy the card from us):

The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East
PO Box 229
Petersfield
Hampshire
United Kingdom

GU32 9DL

Iraqi refugees have experienced things we can only imagine – armed fanatics knocking down their doors, having to abandon their homes in a split second (sometimes forever), the months and years spent in refugee camps. Despite triumphant statements about the defeat of Daesh, millions of Iraqis are still homeless, languishing on the scrapheap of history. But with your support, we are doing what we can to make their lives better, to give them hope.

Please consider giving a little extra this Christmas. For regular and single donations please visit our Just Giving page.

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.

Thank you for your support!

The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 20 October 2017

October

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 escalating conflict between the Iraqi Government and the Kurds, and a feature about why Jordan is deporting Syrian refugees.

Iraq

Independent: Kurds face transformation of Iraq’s political map as they lose territory in face of government advance

The Guardian: Iraq’s Kurds have overplayed their hand. Now both sides must talk

Jordan

The Atlantic: Why Jordan is Deporting Syrian Refugees

Al Bawaba News: Can Amman really become the Middle East’s most creative City? A look at Amman Design Week 2017

Verse of the Day

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:12 NIV

An update on the situation in Kirkuk

October

Last month, Iraqi Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence. For years they suffered under Saddam Hussein. They have long trumpeted the cause of self-determination. On the back of the referendum, the Kurds declared their own nation state. However, the Iraqi Government in Baghdad said that the vote was unconstitutional and declared the outcome null and void. This week the President of Iraq ordered troops to seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, previously under Kurdish control.

Outnumbered by the Iraqi army and without the support of the international community, the Peshmerga (Kurdish fighting force) retreated from the city without firing a shot. It has since retreated from other parts of northern Iraq it once claimed for itself, including towns and villages it helped liberate from Islamic State. Sinjar, the home of the Yazidis, is now under the control of a paramilitary force loyal to Baghdad. Tuz Khumartu, a town near Kirkuk, has fallen under the control of Hashid al-Shaabi, a militia backed by Baghdad.

The respected journalist Patrick Cockburn wrote this week that the loss of Kirkuk ‘will go down as one of the great disasters in Kurdish history’. The Peshmerga also abandoned the last two oil fields under its control on the outskirts of the city. The three provinces that make up the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region remain, for now, under the jurisdiction of the Kurdish Regional Government. All other territorial gains made in the post-Saddam years look set to return to Baghdad.

The Iraqi Government has the support of the international community. With the odd exception, nobody in the West supports the fragmentation of Iraq into smaller, unstable chunks. There is also the belief that Iraq was (and could be again) a pluralist society, a society in which different groups can live side by side in relative peace. To this end, fragmentation along sectarian lines is seen by many as a backwards step.

As a Christian charity, we remain committed to our mission of feeding the displaced and the dispossessed. With your support, our work continues. Please consider making a donation to our work by clicking on the link below or going to our website at frrme.org

One of our trustees and Mike Simpson, our new CEO, hope to visit Baghdad in the coming days to talk to the Iraqi government about the needs of the minority communities, including the Christians of northern Iraq. They will be urging actions to ensure security and the reconstruction of the devastated villages of the Nineveh Plain, as well as encouraging the government to reaffirm its commitment to a pluralist Iraq.

We want to give thanks to all those who responded to our emergency prayer request two days ago. We believe that your prayers are making a real difference to the situation there.

Please make 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.

Thank you for your support!

The FRRME Team

EMERGENCY PRAYER REQUEST

October

Dear FRRME supporter,

Following the Kurdish independence referendum on 25 September, tensions between the Kurdish Regional Government in Erbil and the Government of Iraq in Baghdad have escalated into a full-blown military standoff.

This week, the Iraqi army seized the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in the north of the country (which had been under Kurdish control). There are also reports that a Baghdad-backed militia has taken control of Sinjar, a town in the predominantly Christian province of Nineveh.

One of our staff who works in Erbil is trying to leave the city. However, flights from Erbil are limited and the roads out of the city are increasingly dangerous. Given the worsening situation, we ask our supporters for the following prayers:

  • Pray for our colleague that she will find safe passage soon and not be stranded in Erbil.
  • Pray that the Kurdish and Iraqi leaderships will de-escalate tensions before plunging a region already ravaged by war into another conflict.
  • Pray that the people of northern Iraq, including the Christians and other minorities, are not caught in the middle of yet another conflict.
  • Pray that our work feeding the displaced and dispossessed in northern Iraq continues without disruption.
Thank you.

The ‘Voices of Iraq’ project takes shape in Jordan

October

In 2015, in a meeting room at London’s Heathrow Airport, FRRME staff met with a group of church leaders and Christian NGOs. They had flown in from around the world to discuss the terrible fate of Christians in Iraq and Syria who had found themselves living in a newly-created caliphate where Christianity was punishable by death.

One of the speakers that day was Johnnie Moore, a young American who spoke with eloquence and passion about the plight of Christians. Johnnie is now a member of President Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board and has this week published a book titled ‘The Martyr’s Oath’ which shares eyewitness accounts from dozens of Christians who have survived persecution.

This focus on testimony is at the heart of our new ‘Voices of Iraq’ project. In the coming weeks we will be surveying the Iraqi Christian refugees in our care in Jordan about their experiences. We want to share their stories with you so that the human face of this humanitarian disaster is not forgotten.

Part of this project will involve a photography competition which we will be inviting the refugees to participate in. There are three categories – ‘My Life’, ‘My Journey’, and ‘My Hope’. Iraqi Christians in Jordan cannot work (this is due to high levels of domestic unemployment) but engaging their creativity in this way will give them purpose. Inertia is one of the biggest challenges they face.

Our ultimate goal is to let the people we are helping tell you their story but also to get different groups talking to each other. One of the barriers to reconciliation is silence, a refusal to speak to “the other”. From Northern Ireland to Rwanda, cessation of hostilities has always followed dialogue. We hope to begin this process very soon.

The generous support of our donors enables us to provide vital supplies of food and other help for Christian refugee families in Jordan. Please consider making a donation today – click on the link below for further details.

Want to promote our mission helping Iraqi Christians and other minorities and enabling reconciliation in the Middle East? Why not become a FRRME Ambassador? The Ambassadors promote our work to others such as in a local church through the use of literature, reports, audio-visual materials and talks given by one of our team. If you are interested please email alex@frrme.org. To support us, please see the giving options below.

Make 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.

Thank you for your support!

The FRRME Team
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Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Director of Operations
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