The key to our success in the Middle East is building relationships with partners on the ground. This has enabled us to deliver emergency relief to tens of thousands of internally displaced Christians in Iraq as well as Iraqi Christian refugees in neighbouring Jordan. In Northern Iraq, our main partners are Archbishop Daoud of the Syrian Orthodox Church; Mr Shent Mardian, Secretary to the Armenian Archbishop; and Mr Omeed Mansour, head of the Bishara Association, a government-funded NGO.

Christopher Segar (FRRME Trustee) with Archbishop Daoud (middle) and Dr Sarah Ahmed (FRRME’s Director of Operations in the Middle East)

Through our partnership with the Syrian Orthodox Church we provide food for some of the 3,000 Iraqi Christian families now in the diocese of Erbil (100 of these families are Armenian). This is important not just because these people have nothing and need our help, but because we are helping to keep Christianity alive in Iraq.

The alter at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh, 20 miles south east of Mosul (this photo was taken by Sarah Ahmed in January)

However, Archbishop Daoud and Mr Mardian have said that their own parishioners will not return either to the Plain of Nineveh or to Mosul until there is an improvement in security and clarity about future governance. For the moment the Christians in Erbil are – like their counterparts in Amman – happier to wait for the possibility of resettlement in The West, a process that can take up to three years.

Dr Sarah Ahmed discussing work with Mr Omeed Mansour of the Bishara Association

We have also partnered with the Bishara Association in a number of projects for IDPs. Mr Mansour is a government lawyer who has set up the NGO on his own initiative. He hopes to set up a branch in the predominantly Christian town of Qaraqosh to support IDPs who wish to return home. He was instrumental in getting our team into Qaraqosh on 25 January to accompany one of the Christian IDPs who wanted to visit her old house.

Support for our work in Castle Cary


Castle Cary Methodist chapel, copyright Graham Horn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License

Our Communications Officer, Alex Wentworth, went to Castle Cary in Somerset last Sunday to address an ecumenical congregation who are keen to support our work. The meeting was held at the beautiful Methodist chapel on the edge of town. Those in attendance asked some very interesting questions and expressed real concern about the plight of their fellow Christians in Iraq. Thank you to them for their support this Lent.

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 The Winter Crisis Appeal for Iraqi Refugees by clicking here.

Thank you,

The FRRME Team