Weekly Media Summary 21 April 2017

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 ongoing battle for Mosul between ISIS and Iraqi government forces, and a new initiative by IKEA to employ refugees in Jordan to produce handmade goods.

Iraq

Al Jazeera: Iraqi forces ‘make further gains’ against ISIL in Mosul

Gulf News: Iraq ruling coalition opposes Kurdish independence referendum

Jordan

Curbed: IKEA will employ refugees to produce handmade goods in Jordan

The Jordan Times: Muslim youth take initiative to guard churches as Easter celebrated

…read more

Easter at St George’s Church in Baghdad

At St George’s Church in Baghdad, where our work began and where we are fully funding a health clinic, the congregation celebrated Easter amid worsening sectarian violence. On Good Friday a bomb went off in the city’s Al-Maalef district killing two people and injuring four. Despite this, hundreds of people came to the church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Easter service was led by the Rt Rev Michael Lewis, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, who washed the feet of the parishioners. To watch a video of the Easter Sunday service click here.

Sadly, in other parts of Iraq Christianity has been driven out. A report in The New York Times this week showed footage of Qaraqosh in the north of the country. The journalist described it as a “ghost town”. Our team in Iraq visited Qaraqosh in January and found the same thing. Despite Daesh being beaten, Christians are still too afraid to go back to their homes.

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Easter at St George’s Church in Baghdad

At St George’s Church in Baghdad, where our work began and where we are fully funding a health clinic, the congregation celebrated Easter amid worsening sectarian violence. On Good Friday a bomb went off in the city’s Al-Maalef district killing two people and injuring four. Despite this, hundreds of people came to the church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Easter service was led by the Rt Rev Michael Lewis, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, who washed the feet of the parishioners. To watch a video of the Easter Sunday service click here.

Sadly, in other parts of Iraq Christianity has been driven out. A report in The New York Times this week showed footage of Qaraqosh in the north of the country. The journalist described it as a “ghost town”. Our team in Iraq visited Qaraqosh in January and found the same thing. Despite Daesh being beaten, Christians are still too afraid to go back to their homes.

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Weekly Media Summary 14 April 2017

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 ISIS’ loss of territory in Iraq, comments from Muqtada al-Sadr calling for Bashar al-Assad to step down, and a positive story about how women in Jordan are making inroads into male-dominated jobs.

Iraq

The Independent: Isis now in control of just 7 per cent of country, says Iraq

Rudaw: Iraq’s Al-Sadr urges Syrian president to step down

Jordan

Al Monitor: Female plumbers in Jordan clear path for women in labor market

The Jordan Times: ‘King delivered powerful messages on Palestine to US’

…read more

Support the persecuted church this Easter

For the past 15 years, with your help, we have been transforming lives. We are proud of what we have achieved so far, despite our small size. But times are changing. A dark shadow has cast itself over Iraq. The war there has made 3 million people homeless and decimated the ancient Christian community in the north of the country. In 2003, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Today, it is estimated that there are less than 200,000.

The desecrated baptismal font at the Church of the Immaculate Conception
in the northern Iraqi town of Qaraqosh

The churches of Iraq, though battered by war, remain faithful to Jesus Christ and committed to their congregations. In the bombed-out cities you will find faith undeterred by persecution. However, the people we are helping are exhausted by their plight. Sadly, they are not supported by the international community (which offers them little assistance) but by the kindness of fellow Christians in the West whose generosity has helped keep them alive.

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Weekly Media Summary 7 April 2017

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 plight of Christians in Mosul and Iraqi Kurdistan, and Jordan’s strengthening of ties between the UK and Saudi Arabia.

Iraq

Christian Daily: Mosul Christians still afraid of violence after reconstruction

Iraqi News: Barzani commends Iraqi Christians’ endurance during challenging times

Jordan

Daily Mail: Britain to offer Jordan more trainers in anti-IS strikes

Arab News: Amman talks embodied strong ties between Jordan and Saudi Arabia: King Salman

…read more

More than 300,000 people displaced from Mosul

The UN said this week that more than 300,000 people have fled the besieged city of Mosul. Islamic State militants are reportedly holding the northwestern part of the city, using civilians as human shields. Those who manage to escape show signs of their capture – this week, our team on the ground saw young men shaving their beards off (they were forced to grow beards by Islamic State).

While the eastern half of the city has been liberated, on the ground conditions are terrible. Recent footage shows how desperate the people are for food (click here to watch). People think that because Islamic State is being defeated in Mosul that the situation for its residents is improving. It is not. There are more displaced people than ever and the needs are growing every day.

Dr Sarah Ahmed, our Director of Operations in Middle East, is leading our relief efforts in the region but sadly Iraqi Christians continue to be ignored by the …read more

Food Relief

Food relief is central to our work in northern Iraq. Following the annexation of Mosul and the Nineveh Plain by Islamic State, approximately 3.06 million people were displaced from their homes, with 1.2 million living in temporary settlements. Many of them, including the Christian population, are now living in the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan in the north east of the country, either in displacement camps or, in the case of the Christians, in church compounds in the city of Erbil.

While camps and compounds are relatively safe, conditions are often cramped and food has to be shipped in on a weekly and monthly basis otherwise the people there will starve. We have been feeding thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) since the crisis began and with your support will continue to do so.

IDP camps in Northern Iraq

Since the beginning of 2015 we have delivered food and water to a total of 17 IDP camps in northern Iraq. Currently, we operate in four camps – Harsham, Baharka, Debaga, and Ankawa, all located in Iraqi Kurdistan. We have also delivered food to emergency camps on the outskirts of the besieged city of Mosul, including Khazir.

Harsham – This camp is located to the …read more

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