An update on our reconciliation work

August

We are moving our reconciliation work forward. In the past, we connected with religious leaders, people whose influence we relied upon to make a positive impact. Post-ISIS, there must also be a political settlement. The future of Iraq will be decided at a governmental level, although religious leaders will of course play a role.

We are now working as part of an NGO caucus lobbying ministers to put the plight of Christians and other persecuted minorities at the heart of government policy. As our new CEO, Mike Simpson, said last week: “Iraqi Christians have not been heard strongly enough in the corridors of government or in our media.” We want to change this.

Last week, a letter was delivered to the Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel. It was signed by FRRME Trustee, Christopher Segar (former Head of Mission in Iraq for the British government), and a number of other Christian charities and MPs. In no uncertain terms it calls on the British government to allocate more funds for displaced Iraqi Christians and Yazidis. Here is an excerpt:

“… nothing has been allocated to date for the many thousands of Christians and Yazidis who lost their homes 3 years ago (including in Mosul) and who are now faced with a grave humanitarian and existential crisis… the same story also applies to the many thousands of Christians across the rest of Iraq, and into Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Syria, who are being cared for by other churches and faith-based NGOs but who have received entirely insufficient UN support.”

This must change. Western governments must do more to help Iraqi Christians, as must the UN. Indeed, despite the UN’s commitment to providing humanitarian aid, this has not reached the Iraqi Christians. Going forward, we will be putting this case to more decision makers.

A Future for Iraqi Christians DVD

 


We have produced a short film called ‘A Future for Iraqi Christians’ which gives an overview of our mission. A DVD of the film is available for £5 plus £2.20 P&P from our shop. To order a copy please click here.

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 18 August 2017

August

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 Iranian and Saudi influence on Iraqi politics, and a powerful story about Iraqi refugee women in Jordan who are making a living by turning tragedy into triumph.

Iraq

Independent: Can anyone stop Iran from taking over Iraq?

Guardian: Saudis in talks over alliance to rebuild Iraq and ‘return it to the Arab fold’

Jordan

Christian Today: How these brave Iraqi women are sewing signs of hope from a mark of terror

The Jordan Times: Palestinian leader thanks Jordan for Jerusalem support

Verse of the Day 

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 KJV)

 

A message from our new Chief Executive

August

I am delighted to join The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME) as the new Chief Executive. FRRME is a unique charity working with many thousands of Iraqis who have been forced from their homes and terrorised beyond belief.

Iraq has been in our news so much over the last few years that we may get anaesthetised to the tragedy and horror we see on our screens and read in our newspapers. The news has often focused on the war and all the political controversy about it, but the humanitarian crisis facing Iraq now looks likely to last long after the last shots have been fired.

The latest UN figures show that 3.4 million Iraqis have been displaced, with 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. In particular, over 1 million Christians have fled their homes as a consequence of the sectarian violence and under the threat of so-called Islamic State. This represents over three quarters of the Christian population of the Country! It is a crisis of truly biblical proportions.

FRRME has been at the coalface of this crisis for over two years now, providing emergency relief to thousands of displaced Christians living in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, as well to many others living in internal displacement camps across northern Iraq.

I am passionate about leading our team to build on their excellent work and to help the Christians of Iraq to tell their story. Their voices have certainly not been heard strongly enough in the corridors of government or in our media.

For me, this is an exciting and unique opportunity after over 30 years working in the charity sector, mainly at CEO level. Over the years I have worked with all kinds of disadvantaged groups including homeless young people, drug addicts, the unemployed, families suffering from the effects of domestic abuse, and those struggling with huge debts. I have also worked across religious divides in Israel / Palestine, seeking to build bridges of understanding.

I am passionate about working with the FRRME team to develop our work across the Middle East and to truly manifest Christian faith and compassion in action.

Mike Simpson, 17 August 2017

This week in Iraq

It is a month since the battle for Mosul came to an end and revenge is rife. Rotting corpses have been seen floating down the Tigris, their hands tied behind their backs. Some are IS fighters. Some are civilian collaborators. Some are the victims of the (Shia dominated) Iraqi army, killed simply for being Sunni. How can we stop this cycle of homicidal retribution? What future is there for the Christians caught in the middle of the violence?

We have delivered emergency relief to 17 IDP camps across northern Iraq and Kurdistan
 

While a post-conflict settlement has yet to be agreed, the humanitarian needs in Iraq are greater than ever. We are continuing to provide emergency relief (food, water, medical supplies) to 7,048 internally displaced Iraqi Christians in northern Iraq and Baghdad. This includes 140 people at St George’s Church where we fully fund a free health clinic. We also continue to support 700 Iraqi Christian families in Jordan. Currently, 50% of our total funding is spent supporting the persecuted church.

Dr Sarah Ahmed, our Director of Operations in the Middle East, 
feeds a young girl recently fled from Mosul

Our work is made possible by your generous donations. If you would like to support our mission helping Iraqi Christians and other persecuted religious groups, please see the giving options below.

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 11 August 2017

August

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 execution of Isis members by the Iraqi government for their role in the Camp Speicher killings, and the possible reopening of the main highway between Baghdad and Amman.

Iraq

Independent: Iraq to hang Isis members over role in massacre of army recruits at Camp Speicher 

Guardian: Iraq sends workers home as ‘ungodly’ heat grips Middle East 

Jordan

The Jordan Times: Jordan urges reopening of Iraq border, expediting pipeline project

Business Insider: Jordan king in rare West Bank trip seen as message to Israel

Verse of the Day 

“I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.” Psalm 119:14 NIV

 

 

Surviving in Jordan – An Update from our Project Officer in Amman

August

Three months after moving to Jordan from the US and I am writing with hope, determination and an increased thirst to help the Iraqi Christian refugees here. In July I set up an English class in Madaba, a city to the south of Amman, which has given me the opportunity to get to know the people we are helping.

Iraqi children at our English class in Madaba draw their family trees
 

Last week, I visited a family recently arrived from a displacement camp in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. Thanks to your support, they are now living in a small apartment in Amman. They are so grateful for the improved living conditions we have been able to provide. In Iraq, the husband, Rafed, was a civil engineer. His face lit up as he spoke about his past. He showed me photos of churches in Iraq he helped design and build. Despite his new life as a refugee, he is happy that his family are safe from the sectarian violence they saw in their homeland. Before FRRME came to their aid, his wife was forced to sell all her jewellery to pay for food. However, she told me she managed to hold on to her wedding ring.

Rafed’s wife and children
 

This week I visited another family. The dad, Wassim, is a former IT manager who worked on computers for the US Army and NATO forces. Wassim and his family arrived in Jordan a year and a half ago. Prior to that, they lived in a displacement camp in Erbil. While it is tough in Jordan – Wassim toils as a labourer seven days a week and is only paid £7 / $10 per day – he really appreciates his new life. He is extremely grateful for the support we give him and his family which includes monthly food packages. Despite feeling exhausted from work, Wassim is hopeful that things will get better. He and his family dream of going to Australia but the asylum process can take years.

Wassim with his children
 

After three months in Jordan, I feel I am really getting to know the families we are helping. My eyes have been opened to the challenges and hardships they endure on a daily basis. Our mission is to help make their lives a little bit easier. Whether this is through the provision of food packages, rent money, or English classes, with your support we will continue to give them hope for the future.

Blog written by Helena Scott, FRRME’s Project Officer in Jordan.

A Future for Iraqi Christians DVD
 


We have produced a short film called ‘A Future for Iraqi Christians’ which gives an overview of our mission. A DVD of the film is available for £5 plus £2.20 P&P from our shop. To order a copy please click here.

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:

Stewardship

We are registered with Stewardship, which has set up a support fund for our foundation. You can also support us by making gifts to Stewardship for our fund. Where applicable, the value of your gifts may be increased by use of Gift Aid (worth 25% if you are a UK taxpayer). Please see the attached FORM. Once complete, please return to: Stewardship, Unit A, 1 Lamb’s Passage, London EC1Y 8AB.

Thank you for your support,

The FRRME Team

Telling the Untold: “A Future for Iraqi Christians” DVD

August

Reconciliation at its most basic is the ability to live alongside one’s neighbour, building stable communities, without fear of retribution, and yet acknowledging the need for accountability. FRRME exists to promote conflict resolution and reconciliation in the Middle East, seeing peace building through the reconciliation of communities and economic rejuvenation.

Our work, made possible with your support, continues to communicate the untold stories to a wider audience. We have produced a DVD ‘A Future for Iraqi Christians’, which is a 10 minute file about our work, available for £5 plus £2.20 P&P from our shop HERE

The IDPs and refugees we help with your support have been part of a war which has been labelled the worst human disaster since World War II, with incalculable effects for the civilian population in terms of forced displacement and human suffering. There are been a particular measured impact on the religious minorities of Iraq (and Syria), in some cases with numbers down by 80% (reference Centre on Global Migration CGM). The suffering we have heard of is, at its very least, the destruction of livelihoods such as the experiences of Alen or Ammar and his family we have reported in previous weeks, Iraqi Christian refugees forced to flee for their lives to the relative safety of Jordan.  At its most extreme, it has been the attempted genocide of the indigenous people of Iraq.

As the post-ISIS conflict era emerges, FRRME is committed to the process of peace building through reconciliation, activated by the awareness of relief needs reported by our Director of Operations in the Middle East and Project Officers. Much of this is achieved through the building of partnership with Iraqi NGOs partners and church leaders, many of whom attended the recent meeting in Brussels entitled ‘A Future for Christians in Iraq’, at which FRRME was represented.

Dr. Sarah Ahmed, FRRME Director of Operations in the Middle East, celebrates the freedom of a baby born into slavery under the rule of Daesh (ISIS).

The UK Government are providing over £15m of support for UN stabilisation efforts in Iraq, working alongside Iraqi NGOs to provide security, reconstruction and reconciliation. However 2 years of extreme suffering under ISIS control has severely tested the resilience of the people of Iraq, and in particular the minorities whose communities have been broken. This is where your support, both financial and through prayer, is so important. The untold suffering and rejection goes to the very heart of individuals and communities, affecting the greatest to the least.

At the Brussels conference “A Future for Christians in Iraq”, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Syriac Orthodox Church summarised this frustration of Iraqi Christians on the subject of ‘Our Last Stand: Saving Christianity in Iraq’.  His impassioned appeal on their behalf was simple:

  • To live with dignity on their forefathers lands;
  • The need of homes, regardless of political definition, with the freedom to practice their religion in dignity
  • The need to define the status of their homes in agreement and cooperation with the Iraqi Government and the Kurdish Regional Government.
  • For aid provision to continue to reach those most in need. There were still many cases of people with no water or facilities, still living in tents for 2 years.
  • The longer resolution would take, the less who would wish to stay.

Please click HERE to order a copy of our DVD ‘A Future for Iraqi Christians’ available at our shop for £5 plus £2.20 P&P. We hope to introduce more people to our mission to serve the disenfranchised, dispossessed and the displaced.

Many thanks, the FRRME Team.

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:

Stewardship

 We are registered with Stewardship, which has set up a support fund for our foundation. You can also support us by making gifts to Stewardship for our fund. Where applicable, the value of your gifts may be increased by use of Gift Aid (worth 25% if you are a UK taxpayer). Please see the attached FORM. Once complete, please return to: Stewardship, Unit A, 1 Lamb’s Passage, London EC1Y 8AB.

Weekly Media Summary 4 August 2017

August

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 Christian-sponsored reconstruction of Karamdes, a predominantly Christian town in northern Iraq recently under Islamic State control, and a plea from King Abdullah of Jordan calling on his citizens to “work together” to tackle the many challenges facing the country.

Iraq

Catholic Herald: Knights to send $2 million to restore Christian town in Iraq

Kurdistan 24: Only in Kurdistan are rights of ethnic, religious groups protected: Assyrian party

Jordan

The Jordan Times: King calls for proactivity as country tackles challenges

The Jordan Times: King’s donation to Jerusalem awqaf ‘reflects Hashemite pro-Jerusalem policy’

 

8 churches in Baghdad close… but we are still there

August

Baghdad

CBN News reports this week that eight Catholic churches in Baghdad were closed in May. The decision, taken by the Vatican, is the result of a dwindling congregation, many of whom have fled the city or are too afraid to go to Sunday Mass. Despite this sad news, we will continue to fund the health clinic at St George’s Church and provide food packages to members of the congregation there.

St George’s in Baghdad, the only Anglican Church in Iraq
 

For those wanting to support our work at St George’s, here is a reminder of what the clinic offers and what it costs to run.

Northern Iraq

As Iraqi government forces clear the last remnants of ISIS from Mosul and the surrounding area, 700,000 of the city’s inhabitants are still displaced and living in an archipelago of temporary camps. Our team on the ground visited two of these camps this week, providing food and water to occupants of Debaga camp in Makhmour, which is home to over 30,000 IDPs, and Hassan Sham, an emergency processing camp on the outskirts of Mosul. Here are some photos from the visit:

If you would like to support our work, please make a donation. Every donation, however small, makes a big difference to the people we are helping in Iraq and Jordan.

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:

Stewardship

 We are registered with Stewardship, which has set up a support fund for our foundation. You can also support us by making gifts to Stewardship for our fund. Where applicable, the value of your gifts may be increased by use of Gift Aid (worth 25% if you are a UK taxpayer). Please see the attached FORM. Once complete, please return to: Stewardship, Unit A, 1 Lamb’s Passage, London EC1Y 8AB.

Thank you for your support,

The FRRME Team

August 2017 Prayer Diary

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

August 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 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

 

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Insights from Sarah Ahmed, Director of Operations
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