Harrowing testimony from Iraq

January

According to a UN statement issued this week, the battle for Mosul has made 148,000 people homeless, with 12,500 people forced to flee their homes in the past week alone. The statement also says that the fighting continues to inflict high civilian casualties, with more than 1,500 wounded taken to hospitals in Erbil. While the fighting intensifies, we continue to work alongside the UN providing emergency food relief to thousands of people in dire need.

An IDP camp in Iraqi Kurdistan where night-time temperatures drop to below freezing

Speaking about the worsening situation in Northern Iraq, last Sunday Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME’s Director of Operations in the Middle East, and Alex Wentworth, Communications Officer, gave a talk at St Peter’s Brockley in South London.

They spoke about the people of Northern Iraq, Christian and Muslim, and the terrible suffering they have endured at the hands of ISIS. The people we are helping there have lost everything, in some cases even the shoes on their feet. Dr Sarah spoke of children she has met in the camps who are so traumatized by what they have seen that they have tried to kill themselves. One story she told was of a Christian woman who, fleeing from ISIS, was forced to leave her baby behind. To this day she does not know where her baby is.

Khazir IDP camp on the outskirts of Mosul, ISIS’ de facto capital in Iraq, 
where we are providing food and water to new arrivals

If you would like a member of the FRRME team to give a talk at your church, please send an email to: office@frrme.org

International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
 

Wednesday 18 January – Wednesday 25 January is International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, an ecumenical observance kept annually during which Christians around the world pray for Christian unity. The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer is “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us” (Corinthians 5: 14 – 20). Please pray this week for our Iraqi brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering terrible persecution. To sign-up to our monthly prayer diary and other updates please click here.

Samara’s Aid Appeal
 

Samara’s Aid Appeal (one of our partners) urgently needs individuals, churches and schools to collect winter clothes to send to some of the 3.1 million IDPs in Iraq.

For more information about how you can help, please watch the short video below and request an information pack before you begin: www.samarasaidappeal.org/collectors

How you can help

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 The Winter Crisis Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking here.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 13 January 2017

January

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 ongoing battle for Mosul; a new aid package for Jordan to help with the refugee crisis; and an article in Christian Today about our work in Iraq:

Iraq

Iraqi News: Iraqi forces storm more districts in Mosul, chemical counter-attacks feared

Al Jazeera: Iraq’s Abadi calls for Turkish forces’ withdrawal

Jordan

The Jordan Times: Jordan, donors endorse new refugee response plan

Fox News: Jordan dismisses 15 mosque preachers in wake of IS attack

FRRME in the press

Christian Today: Charity Helps Thousands Of Iraqi Christians Going Hungry, Displaced of Bereaved

Delivering food and education on the front line in Northern Iraq

January 2017

The battle for Mosul continues. Reuters reports this week that Islamic State is shelling parts of the city it has lost to Iraqi Government forces in a deliberate attempt to kill civilians. Those who make it out of the city alive either walk east to Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, or west to Rojava, Syria’s Kurdish region.

Children collecting a food ration

We are operating in Iraqi Kurdistan, providing food to thousands of Christians and other victims of sectarian violence. While IDP camps in the region offer relative safety, there are no schools for the children which is why we set up a girls school in Harsham Camp north of Erbil. We recently delivered new benches to the school, as well as a large consignment of food and bottled water.

Benches being delivered to the girls school in Harsham Camp
Red lentils, rice and tinned tomatoes being delivered
Cooking lunch for IDPs

The latest UN figures show that there are 3.1 million internally displaced people in Iraq, with 10 million in need of humanitarian assistance. We cannot help everyone, but with your support we are reaching a significant number of the most vulnerable.

FRRME in the press
 

Christian Today published an article last week about our work in Iraq. This followed the publication of our New Year mission statement which included a story about the hundreds of Iraqi Christians who attended Christmas service at St George’s Church in Baghdad. Please click on the image below to read the article.


Samara’s Aid Appeal: Collectors Needed!

Samara’s Aid Appeal (one of our partners) urgently needs individuals, churches and schools to collect winter clothes to send to some of the 3.1 million IDPs in Iraq.

Many are sheltering in tents, animal sheds and unfinished buildings with windows, doors and walls missing. Some have entire walls missing. It is as cold inside these structures as it is outside, and some of these families have babies and young children. Many of these families fled from their homes with just the clothes they were wearing, and people continue to be displaced. They have lost everything they own and are starting from scratch.

Each winter thousands of displaced children and vulnerable adults die of hypothermia in these settings. You can help save lives and show unconditional love to these traumatised people by collecting bedding, clothes and shoes in your community and sending them to Samara’s Aid Appeal.

For more information about how you can help, please watch the short video below and request an information pack before you begin: www.samarasaidappeal.org/collectors

How you can help FRRME

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 The Winter Crisis Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking here.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team

Our mission this year is to help the persecuted. Please join us…

January 2017

Christmas and New Year at St George’s Church in Baghdad

Despite the spectre of violence that hangs over Iraq, the congregation at St George’s Church in Baghdad was able to celebrate Christmas and New Year in relative peace. St George’s remains very much in our prayers and we continue to fully fund the health clinic there. Additionally, the American branch of the Foundation provides monthly funding for food relief.

In his Boxing Day address, Pope Francis paid tribute to Iraq’s persecuted and dwindling Christian community, commenting that “there are more Christian martyrs now than in the Church’s early days.” While this is certainly the case, it was heartening to see the children at St George’s singing in praise of Yeshua and enjoying themselves. Father Christmas even made an appearance!

Helping the persecuted in Northern Iraq

In Northern Iraq we continue to provide for thousands of internally displaced people. Through our partnerships with the Syrian Orthodox and Armenian Churches, we are feeding 5,500 Christian families every month. We are also providing food and water to tens of thousands of IDPs, many of them Muslim, across 17 displacement camps. This includes Khazir Camp on the outskirts of Mosul, Islamic State’s de facto capital in Iraq.

This recent article in Al Monitor paints a picture of Iraq as a tolerant, pluralist society, despite the efforts of extremists to tear the country apart. While we are a Christian charity, we are non-sectarian in our approach to aid provision. With your support we will continue to help the displaced and the dispossessed in Northern Iraq regardless of creed.
 

Continuing our work in the Hashemite Kingdom

We are continuing our work in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, providing hundreds of Iraqi Christian refugee families with heaters and blankets, as well as money for rented accommodation and food. While we are no longer funding the school in Marka or the clinic in Sweifieh, we will continue to provide for the most vulnerable through our church partners.

We are currently working with 4 churches in Jordan, including the Nazarene Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, and Greek Catholic Church. Together we are feeding 3,000 Iraqi Christians every month. The Hashemite Kingdom remains one of the safest places in the Middle East for persecuted Christians. Below is an infographic showing how your donations are helping in Jordan.

The measure of a charity

The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME) is registered with The Charity Commission for England and Wales. You can look us up on their online register by clicking here. Simply type our charity number into the search box to see how your donations are helping (our charity number is 1133576).

How you can help

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 The Winter Crisis Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking here.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team

January 2017 Prayer Diary

Please click the button below to read our monthly prayer diary

January 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

Why help an Iraqi refugee this Christmas?

December

Imagine for a moment that you are an Iraqi Christian, born in Baghdad on 1st January 2000. What would your life have been like?

Days after your third birthday, you hear Saddam Hussein on the radio telling you to “draw your sword” against America, a country you have never visited. Months later, you shake with fear as bombs rain down on your neighbourhood, flattening the houses around you and killing the people inside.

Months after your fifth birthday, following a general election, you witness Shia militias loyal to the new government executing innocent Sunnis in the street outside your house. Or perhaps it is Sunnis loyal to al-Qaeda that are executing innocent Shia. Either way, both groups hate you for being an “infidel” and you cannot leave your house even to go to school.

Shortly after your sixth birthday, as civil war erupts in the capital, your parents take you to Mosul in the north of the country hoping to find safety. After two years of relative peace, thousands of your fellow Christians flee the city following a wave of murders, abductions and threats. You survive this pogrom through luck, always looking over your shoulder and never revealing your faith to strangers.

In the summer of your fourteenth birthday, you see a convoy of armed men dressed in black driving through the city. Some people are cheering them on, others are running home in terror. In the weeks that follow, you hear that Christians have been crucified in the streets. At night, you hear your name being called out on the loudspeaker telling you to register with the new authority. If you don’t there will be consequences.

After days of hiding in your home and with supplies running low, your father decides to register the family. Terrible rumours have reached your door that those who don’t are tortured in houses with blacked-out windows. But if you register and pay the Jizya (tax) you will be safe. After two days and no news, a frightened neighbour whispers through your door that your father has been executed.

The next day, armed men burst into your house and drag your mother away. You never see her again. Crawling from your hiding place, you gather the last bottle of water and some food and head off, in the dead of night, hoping to reach safety. After three days dodging checkpoints and delirious with dehydration you make it to Kurdish-controlled territory and safety. Or maybe you don’t.

While the above account is hypothetical, it reflects the experiences Iraqi refugees and IDPs in our care have reported living through. It is only by fortune of birth that we are not them. Iraqi refugees, such as the 500 Christian families we are helping in Jordan, have suffered for years, trapped amid an endless cycle of violence.

This Christmas, we ask that you make a donation to help the displaced and dispossessed of Iraq. It is not just Christians that are suffering, but people of all faiths.

We are registered with The Charity Commission for England and Wales. You can look us up on their online register by clicking here. Simply type our charity number into the search box to see how your donations are helping (our charity number is 1133576).

Here is an infographic showing how your donations will help this Christmas, as well as instructions on how to make a donation.

How you can help

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 The Winter Crisis Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking here.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 16 December 2016

December

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 a potential post-ISIS Sunni insurgency in Iraq; criticism by Jordan and Egypt of Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who they accuse of fanning extremism in the region; and Israel’s designation of the recent fires as ‘pyro-terror’.

Iraq

Forbes: As Battle For Mosul Rages In Iraq, Observers Warn Of Risk Of ‘ISIS 2.0’

Reuters: Iraqi Christians confront painful memories in town’s clean-up

Jordan

Middle East Monitor: Egyptian and Jordanian ambassadors criticise Saudi Arabia and Turkey

CNN: The forbidden art that’s booming in Jordan

Israel / Palestinian Territories

The Washington Post: Israeli leaders said recent fires were ‘pyro-terror.’ But few Arabs have been charged with arson.

Guardian: Trump’s Israel ambassador is pro-settlement bankruptcy lawyer

We are funding 42 students at the new Catholic University in Erbil

December

The American arm of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East will be funding 42 students at the new Catholic University in Erbil, Northern Iraq. Below is a short video (in Sorani Kurdish) which gives you some idea of what the university looks like. 42 students represents 100% of the internally displaced people attending the university.

The university is a non-profit institution which is open to students of all faiths, cultures and beliefs. Its educational mission is clear: “Students are challenged to engage directly in the world and learn the habits that will support a life of service to our fellow citizens, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community.” It is thanks to you, our supporters, that we are able to support these students.

An update on the humanitarian crisis in Northern Iraq
 
 

The campaign to oust Islamic State from Mosul is in its ninth week. Recent new reports assert that Iraqi government forces have retaken a quarter of the city, however thousands of civilians, many of them women and children, are still trapped. Since the fighting began, the UN estimates that 91,000 people have been displaced.

This harrowing report in The Independent tells of the unspeakable cruelty suffered by civilians in Mosul at the hands of Islamic State: “Infractions were punished by fines, flogging, amputations and death by a variety of gory execution methods including shooting, beheading, drowning, stoning and – reportedly – being roasted alive in a commercial oven.” Many of the victims were Christian.

We are continuing to feed thousands of people in the IDP camps of Northern Iraq, including Khazir Camp on the outskirts of Mosul. Temperatures are set to drop to below zero this week and many of the people we are helping do not even have shoes. If you would like to help us provide for these people, please see the giving options below.

How you can help

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 The Winter Crisis Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking here.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team

Weekly Media Summary 9 December 2016

December

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 battle for Mosul; the plight of Iraqi Christian refugees living in Jordan; and Israel’s retroactive settlement law.

Iraq

BBC News: Iraq Conflict: Air Strikes on IS-held border town ‘kill dozens’

Iraqi News: Iraq’s parliament speaker demands inquiry into deadly Qaim air strikes

Jordan

Christian Daily: Jordan priest provides haven for Christian refugees fleeing ISIS areas

The New Arab: Jordan-Syria border closure forces MSF to shut Zaatari clinic

Israel / Palestinian Territories

The Guardian: UN criticises Israel settlement law that would legalise 4,000 West Bank homes

BBC News: Turkey drops case against Israeli officers in Gaza flotilla killings

We are reaching people other charities are not

December

A new report by NPC, a charity think think, draws the conclusion that: “faith-based charities are an important part of the voluntary sector and wider society. They can reach groups other charities cannot.. and their values motivate them to help those who are most in need.” The final line of the report reads: “what matters is the impact they are having on the lives of those they seek to help.” We couldn’t agree more. A link to the report is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Accolades for our work in Iraq

As a UK-registered charity working on the front line in Iraq, we want to show you how your donations are helping. We do this through our weekly updates, social media posts, and thank you letters. With your help, Christian charity is making a positive impact in the region – we are feeding the displaced, sheltering the persecuted, educating the forgotten, and offering hope to the desperate. Last week, our work in Iraq received two accolades:

The above award was presented to Dr Sarah Ahmed, FRRME’s Director of Operations in the Middle East, in recognition of our work in Kirkuk where we have set up a school for children with special educational needs. FRRME also appeared on a World magazine list of 17 aid agencies which have established exceptional aid provision in Northern Iraq. It is thanks to you, our supporters, that our work in Iraq continues to have such a positive impact.

Providing for Iraqi Christian refugees in Jordan

As the battle for Mosul forces more Iraqi Christians to flee to Jordan, FRRME continues to ensure that these people are properly looked after. Last week in Amman we gave out 70 kerosene heaters and 100 blankets to families who have recently-arrived from the Nineveh Plain, much of which is still under Islamic State control.

As highlighted in a recent newsletter, many of these people fall through the cracks of the big aid agencies and international organisations, but with your support we are continuing to help them.

To access the NPC report, titled “What a difference a faith makes”, please click here.

How you can help

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 The Winter Crisis Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking here.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 46
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