Courage to Confront Reality
The House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass the Iraq and Syria Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390) that will allow the U.S. government to assist organizations that are effectively serving these victims of genocide in Iraq and Syria. It also directs the United States to provide funding and assistance to organizations conducting criminal investigations, in collecting evidence and preserving evidence for the prosecution of individuals and groups who undertook these acts.
“H.R. 390 will help to ensure that U.S. government money will actually reach these endangered communities,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson at a press conference held June 7 on Capitol Hill (READ HIS FULL REMARKS). Also speaking at the press conference was Rep. Chris Smith R-4th District, N.J., who sponsored the bill; Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-18th District, Calif., a co-sponsor of the bill; and Haider Elias, president of Yazda: A Global Yazidi Organization.
“H.R. 390 will now ensure it (funding) reaches those communities most in need,” Supreme Knight Anderson said. He stated: “Last evening’s vote showed this is not a partisan issue. It is an issue of survival, justice and decency. The action of the House last night demonstrates that America stands united in the face of evil and terror. We are horrified at the acts of savagery inflicted recently in Egypt, Manchester, London Paris and Melbourne. Last night’s action demonstrates that America stands united to ensure that the goals of terrorism will never be achieved.”
The Knights of Columbus recently launched a nationwide digital and television ad campaign to raise awareness and funds on behalf of Christians at Risk in the Middle East.
The K of C will match donations received by July 1 up to $1 million, and 100 percent of the money raised will be used to assist with food programs for Christian refugees in Iraq. Donations can be made at ChristiansatRisk.org or by calling 1-800-694-5713 and are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Knights of Columbus Charities Inc. is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a charitable organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Knights of Columbus has donated more than $12 million for Christian refugee relief since 2014 in support of communities too often ignored by direct U.N. or U.S. government assistance. The bulk of the funding has aided Christian communities in Iraq with food, clothing, shelter and education, and has also helped threatened or displaced communities in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. Other religious minority groups targeted by ISIS, including Yazidis, have also been recipients of the Knights’ aid.