This Lent, Sacrifice for Those Who Suffer
Christians in the Middle East face persecution and extinction simply for their belief in the one who taught us to love one another. Despite the genocidal persecution against them, they continue to provide an inspiring example of faith in God and in love of their neighbor. They need our solidarity and support.
To date, the Knights of Columbus has donated approximately $5 million to relief efforts in Iraq and Syria through the Christian Refugee Relief Fund. We have also launched a website and released commercials to raise awareness of the crisis. However, more assistance is needed.
To meet this ongoing need, we are asking students in local Catholic high schools to participate in our Christians at Risk Lenten Program by donating a small amount on each day of Lent (Feb. 10 - March 26, 2016). This can be done through simple methods, such as setting aside the price of a can of soda each day. Schools should then collect and donate the net proceeds to the Christian Refugee Relief Fund.
To help your school participate in this program, copies of a Prayer for Persecuted Christians can be obtained by contacting the Knights of Columbus Supply Department at 203-752-4214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, these posters can be printed out and displayed around your school.
This high school-based fundraising initiative draws on the efforts of Marin High School in Greenbrae, Calif., which raised $23,000 through a fundraising dinner and student contributions. This brief video of their efforts — which particularly helped an Assyrian family currently living in their local community — can be shown in your school.
1. Have all theology teachers educate their students on three important aspects of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Explain how the Christians at Risk Lenten Program allows us to fully engage in these Lenten practices. If possible, invite a speaker to your school to explain the plight of Christians in detail and to answer any questions the students might have about their situation.
2. Ask students to give up an amount of money each day (possibly what they would spend for a cup of coffee or similar amount) and donate that toward helping persecuted Christians. Keep track of the donations collected by each class every day. At the end of week, announce which class has the highest total.
3. Tabulate the collected donations and send a check to:
Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc.
1 Columbus Plaza
PO BOX 1966
New Haven, CT 06509-1966.
Please reference Christian Refugee Relief in the memo area of the check so that we know where to apply the funds.
For more information or if you have questions, please write email@example.com, or call 203-752-4264.
Please join us in offering spiritual and material assistance to these victims of crimes against humanity. Pray daily for our Christian brothers and sisters — for their perseverance in faith and hope, the improvement of their living conditions, and the restoration of peace in their land.