K of C Funds Month’s Supply of Food for Iraqi Christians
New Commercial also airs featuring priest once tortured by extremists and now running refugee camp
As September begins, the Knights of Columbus simultaneously unveils a new television commercial and starts financing the delivery of one month’s supply of food to more than 13,500 displaced families from Mosul and the Nineveh Plains who fled to the Erbil area in Kurdistan.
Part of the Order’s multimillion-dollar initiative to aid displaced Christian families and other persecuted religious communities in the Middle East, this latest food donation brings the Knights of Columbus assistance in the Middle East to more than $4 million overall.
Each one-month food package typically contains 10 kg of rice, 5 kg of sugar, 4 liters of cooking oil, 1200 g of tomato sauce, 4 kg of beans, 10 kg of wheat, 1 kg of pasta, 6 packets of cheese, 5 tins of fish, 5 tins of meat, and 1 kg of tea. The cost of $60 per package includes transportation and packaging for a total cost of $810,000.
At the same time, the Knights of Columbus will also begin airing a TV commercial that features an Iraqi priest who now runs a refugee camp near Erbil, and who previously was kidnapped and tortured by extremists.
In the commercial Father Douglas Bazi begs viewers to “pray for my people, help my people, and save my people,” and adds “I believe you can.” He also notes that “genocide is the easy word for what is happening to my people.” The commercial will air nationally this month and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHegSk2omdE
“Christians in the Middle East face persecution and extinction simply for their belief in the one who taught us to love one another,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Despite the genocidal persecution against them, they have continued to be an inspiration to the power of their faith, and to the love of God and neighbor. They need our solidarity and support, and we are pleased to help provide it.”
Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil attended the Knights of Columbus international convention in Philadelphia in August, as did Melkite Archbishop Jean Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo, Syria. At the convention Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced that the Knights would redouble its efforts on behalf of Middle Eastern Christians.
Those wishing to assist with the relief efforts can donate by visiting www.christiansatrisk.org or by sending checks or money orders payable to Knights of Columbus Charities at P.O. Box 1966, New Haven, CT 06509-1966. The memo portion should indicate that the check is for Christian Refugee Relief.
One hundred percent of all donations directly supports humanitarian assistance and raising awareness for persecuted Christians and other religious minorities, especially in the Middle East. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc., is recognized by the IRS as a charitable organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Knights of Columbus has a long history of providing humanitarian relief, including efforts following the 9/11 terrorist attacks; the 2013 typhoons in the Philippines; hurricanes Katrina and Sandy; and tsunamis in Indonesia and Japan. The Knights also provided humanitarian assistance and created international awareness of the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico during the 1920s.