A new campaign to help besieged Christians in Syria and Iraq has been launched by Aid to the Church in Need, by the US branch of the papal agency, Aid to the Church in Need, which warned that both countries faced extinction of their ancient Christian communities.
The $1 million campaign is a response to what Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic leader, called “a human catastrophe and the risk of a real genocide.”
Two grants have already been made, of $186,000 in support of the Christian community in Syria and $135,000 for emergency aid for Iraq’s Christian refugees.
Continued fighting between the regime and the opposition, the devastation caused by the civil war to-date and targeted attacks are causing enormous suffering to local Christians in Syria, the charity said.
George Marlin, chairman of Aid to the Church in Need, said: “Both countries are threatened with the extinction of ancient Christian communities. Both Churches and governments in the West must do their utmost to prevent what has become a tragedy of historic proportions.”