An update from Iraq, Israel and Jordan

April

Dear Friends,
With temperatures in the region of 40C/100F, Iraq is in a terrible way, both politically and economically. The parliament has not been meeting, there are violent protests in Baghdad, and the oil revenue is starting to dry up. Despite this, we are still working on the front line. Yesterday, Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME’s Director of Operations in the Middle East, gave out 25 kg bags of flour to over 1,000 Iraqi IDP families in Erbil, Northern Iraq.
While the so-called Islamic State is no longer recruiting the large number of overseas fighters that it was, it still maintains its strength. This week, they blew up the famous “Clock Church” in Mosul, one of the most iconic churches in the Middle East. Click on the image below to read Breitbart’s news story about this:
As I have been saying for a long while, it is as if we are entering a third world war. However, despite the bad news in Iraq, I was heartened to spend Passover in Jerusalem on my way back to Jordan.
Being back in Jordan this week has given me hope. The 500 Iraqi refugee families we are helping there are, thanks to your continued support, doing well. Below is a group photo we took yesterday (I am in the middle at the front). It is always great being back in Jordan with out brothers and sisters in Christ.

I will shortly be visiting the West Bank for a very special project. I will let you know more about this in my next update.

If you would like to find out more about our work, please visit frrme.org. If you would like to make a donation please click here.
Grace and Peace,
Abouna Andrew
Emeritus Vicar of Baghdad

Weekly Media Summary 22 April 2016

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, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about UK Parliament’s declaration of ISIS genocide; Hollande’s pledge of support for Jordan; details of the Jerusalem bus bombing; and Canon Andrew White’s honorary doctorate from Liverpool Hope University.

Iraq

The Guardian: MPs unanimously declare Yazidis and Christians victims of Isis genocide

Daily Mail: Do more in Iraq, US Pentagon boss tells Gulf

Jordan

The Daily Star (Lebanon): Holland ‘worried’ over Syria talks, pledges Jordan support

Al-Arabiya: Israel says it is giving Jordan, Egypt intel help against ISIS

Israel / Palestine

BBC News: Israel says Jerusalem bus bombing was Hamas suicide attack

Al Jazeera: Israel outraged by UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem sites

Canon Andrew White in the Media

Liverpool Echo: Liverpool Hope University top honour for midwife of 40 years

Canon Andrew White in the UK

April

Dear Friends,

I am back in the UK and it has been brilliant. The day after I landed, I met with the Chairman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada, Peter Jardine, and Rev. Malcolm MacLeod. They flew all the way from Ontario to talk with me about the persecuted church in the Middle East. You can learn more about Voice of the Martyrs Canada by clicking on the image below.
Last week I spoke at St Mary’s in Orpington and St Giles in Northampton. Both churches are very supportive of our Iraqi brothers and sisters in Christ and I was very happy to share our work with them. I even managed to get a group selfie with the congregation at St Giles.
A group selfie with the congregation of St Giles Church in Northampton
I was also invited to speak at a Generation 2 Generation conference at Moggerhanger Park in Bedfordshire. G2G is a wonderful organisation that seeks to bring Yesua back into the public sphere and share his message with the next generation. They have been doing this work for many years and I was happy to speak at their event.
Speaking at the G2G conference at Moggerhanger Park
I then visited Bridge Church St Ives and the Cambridge Community Church. I trained for the priesthood at Ridley Hall – Cambridge University’s theological college – and it was great being back in the place where I studied. Coincidentally, my son Yossi is now also studying theology at Cambridge University.
I will shortly be off to Jerusalem where I will be speaking at the 19th Passover Convocation in Jerusalem’s Old City alongside a host of other speakers. I am really looking forward to it!
If you would like to find out more about our work, please visit frrme.org. If you would like to make a donation please click here.
Grace and Peace,
Abouna Andrew
Emeritus Vicar of Baghdad

Weekly Media Summary 15 April 2016

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, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about the Christian exodus of Iraq; King Abdullah of Jordan’s decision to fund the restoration of Christ’s tomb; and Israel’s struggle with the rising influence of religious Zionists.

Iraq

Christian Today: Iraqi bishops warn priests against aiding Christian exodus

BBC News: The Christian militia fighting IS

Jordan

The Jordan Times: Christian leaders praise Royal move to fund restoration of Christ’s Tomb

Al Arabiya: Jordan, Saudi reject ‘Iranian interference’

Israel / Palestine

Reuters: Israeli military struggles with rising influence of Religious-Zionists

CNN: Israel promotes Arab officer, highest rank for Muslim in nation

 

An update from Iraq and Jordan

FRRME’s work in Iraq and Jordan continues. This week we provided emergency food relief for 400 internally displaced families currently situated in the Debaga Camp in Erbil, which included 4000 pieces of bread.

Food packages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The people we are feeding in Northern Iraq, many of them children, are grateful for your support. Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME’s Director of Operations in the Middle East, says: “The families we are helping are so thankful, they said we had made their day. Actually, seeing their smiles made our day.”

Relief in Northern Iraq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our work in Jordan is going well. In March we provided rent for 80 Iraqi refugee families. In total, we gave out 900 food packages (including 950 chickens and 475 boxes of eggs). There were 147 appointments at our free health clinic (as well as free treatments), and we are educating 175 children at our school in Marka.

Education in Marka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are currently partnering with 16 charities on the ground in Jordan, which has been vital to our success. If you would like to support our work there, or our relief operations in Iraq, please click on the FRRME logo below.

FRRME Logo - May 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Media Summary 8 April 2016

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, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about the imminent deportation of Iraqi Christians from The Czech Republic; comments by Prince El-Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan on how to defeat ISIS; a Palestinian-sought resolution against Israeli settlements; and Canon Andrew White in the media.

Iraq

Reuters: Czechs to return Iraqi Christians who tried to move to Germany, interior minister says

BBC News: Iraq: Falluja residents trapped by IS ‘starving’ 

Jordan

Haaretz: Jordan’s Prince El-Hassan Bin Talal: Guns Alone Won’t Stop ISIS

Al Monitor: Jordan blocks 50,000 Syrian refugees near border

Israel / Palestine

ABC News: Palestinians Seek UN Resolution Against Israeli Settlements

The Jerusalem Post: Palestinian Christians bitter over destruction of church ruins in Gaza

Canon Andrew White in the media 

The Jerusalem Post: I stand with Israel

Canon Andrew White in America

April

Dear Friends,
I am back in America to talk about the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq. FRRME’s Director of Operations in the Middle East, Dr Sarah Ahmed, is with me. Last Saturday we spoke at the Connect Church in New Jersey. The Church takes its links to our work very seriously and we are very grateful for their continued support. The response to Dr Sarah, a Muslim taking care of persecuted Christians, was overwhelming.
Canon Andrew White at the Connect Church in New Jersey
Dr Sarah and I then travelled to Wheaton College in Chicago. The College, which was founded by Abolitionists in the 1860s, has been a central part of our work and ministry for many years and a fair number of our staff and interns have come from there. This week at Wheaton I gave a lecture in the International Politics class of Professor Mark Amstutz, as well as a major public lecture with Dr Sarah which was moderated by Professor Michael McKoy.
Canon Andrew White and Dr Sarah Ahmed giving a public lecture at Wheaton College
I am having a wonderful time teaching at Wheaton. I have been coming to teach here for years and I love it more every time. This week, I was given an official Wheaton hoodie, which goes well with my orange and blue bow-tie. What more could you ask for!

Even when Dr Sarah and I are not in the Middle East, FRRME’s work on the front line continues. This week our team on the ground in Northern Iraq delivered food packages to 400 IDP families at the Debaga Camp outside Erbil.

If you would like to find out more about our work, please visit frrme.org. If you would like to make a donation please click here.
Grace and Peace,
Abouna Andrew
Emeritus Vicar of Baghdad

Easter Appeal from Canon Andrew White

Dear Friends,
Easter video screengrab
Today is Maundy Thursday, the day we remember the service of Christ in washing his disciples’ feet. The day we remember our call to service and love. The day we remember that we are not alone but together, serving each other and the G-d of our Ha Shem, the G-d of our fathers.
I am in Israel, the land of the people I love so dearly. The Israelis are not one people, they are not even particularly religious as people. The Israelis are both Jews and Arabs and I love them both. And despite what people say, on the whole they love and respect each other.
As one who is here much of the time I meet many Christians, most of whom feel they have been sent here by G-d and I say great, but why? I think Maundy Thursday is the reason, the act of real service. Today is also Purim, which commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman. Two thousand years later and not much has changed. Indeed, a new persecution has taken grip in the world.
Since ISIS swept through the plains of Nineveh in the summer of 2014, the genocide of Christians in Iraq has escalated. Despite the Obama Administration’s recent acknowledgement of this fact, the response from the international community has been muted. Indeed, the abandonment of the Iraqi Christian community represents a sad decline in The West’s empathy for persecuted minorities.
The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East continues to work on the front line. We are currently sheltering 500 Christian Iraqi refugee families in Jordan. Most of these people have fled ISIS, who decree that all Christians living in its territory convert to its version of Islam, pay a tax (known as a Jizya), or be killed. Unsurprisingly, many of Iraq’s Christians have fled their homeland, with many of them now living lives of privation in neighbouring Arab countries, clinging to the hope that things might one day get better.
As well as our Iraqi refugees in Jordan, we continue to support the medical clinic at St George’s in Baghdad, and provide a food relief programme through the church. We are also providing emergency relief to thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Northern Iraq. The people there have lost everything – their homes, their possessions, and in many cases, their loved ones. Those who are considered “fortunate” live in disused military trailers or tents provided by the UNHCR. Food is scarce and provided for by a dwindling number of international NGOs, of which FRRME is one.
Given the enormous scale of the emergency we are facing, I am writing to you, our much-valued supporters, to ask for a donation this Easter. Every act of generosity you make is greatly valued by those we are helping. Your donations will fund food voucher programmes, vital medical care, schooling for the children, and emergency shelter. Donations will also be used to fund our international school of reconciliation in Jerusalem this year, which will introduce a new generation of peace makers to the power and methods of interfaith dialogue.
We must face up to the reality of the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Christ. The persecution of the church in the Middle East is a daily reality but your support makes all the difference.  As I often say, we must pray for peace, but we must also pay for peace. Through our shared love of the body of Christ, please partner with us this Easter. To make a donation please click here.  Thank you.
Grace and Peace,
Abouna Andrew
Emeritus Vicar of Baghdad

Weekly Media Summary 24 March 2016

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, Jordan, Israel / Palestine.

This week’s Media Summary features news about the Iraqi military offensive on Mosul; the worsening refugee crisis in Jordan; Christianity in Israel; and FRRME in the media:

Iraq

Daily Mail: Iraq begins offensive to retake IS-held Mosul

Guardian: British suicide bomber killed in Iraq named as Mohammed Rizwan Awan

Jordan

The Daily Star Lebanon: Syrian refugees denied critical health care in Jordan: Amnesty

The Jordan Times: EU Official breaks down in tears during Amman press conference

Israel / Palestine

The Tablet: Israel is preventing Christians from worshiping freely in the Holy Land during Easter

Christian Today: More Christians in U.S support Israel than Christians in Israel, survey shows

FRRME in the media 

The Church Times: Hope is brought to Yazidis

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Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Director of Operations
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