Rome (AsiaNews) - Thanks to the generosity of many readers and friends of AsiaNews, the campaign "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" has raised nearly 700,000 euros (almost US$ 900,000) to fund the basic needs of Christian and Yazidi refugees in Kurdistan, who fled the violence and cruelty of the Islamic caliphate.
On 10 October, we sent the bishops - who like their faithful are also refugees - a second instalment of 393,297.76 euros raised in September. With 279,219.96 euros raised in August, the total amount sent comes to 672,517.72 euros.
This is surprising given the modest size of our agency, but it is a sign of active compassion towards the Iraqi people on the part of tens of thousands of people who understand that the fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East.
Pope Francis has never failed to appeal to the world's sense of charity for the persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
The Synod, which is currently meeting in the Vatican, called on "people of good will to continue to provide the necessary assistance and help to the innocent victims of this barbarism that is taking place, and at the same time, we ask the international community to take action to re-establish peaceful coexistence in Iraq".
Sadly, the governments of the international community seem to have placed refugees and their return home at the bottom of their list of priorities, preferring a policy of "containment" of the Islamic Army, instead of trying to liberate Mosul.
"It is clear that the Islamic state is stronger than coalition airstrikes," said Chaldean archbishop Mgr Amel Nona, who also fled after unsuccessfully trying to communicate with the caliphate militias.
Thus, it is that more urgent to send tokens of consolation and assistance to the refugees, who are still prostrated from living "in tents, schools, classrooms and churches."
As winter approaches with the possibility of snow, the emergency is likely to get worse with great need for food, warm clothes, and shelter.
"We are looking to rent houses," Mgr Nona said, "but it is impossible to find accommodation for everyone. Finding housing is not easy, so we look for other solutions."
In addition to serious economic difficulties, children are unable to go to school. Priests, the bishop said, "are promoting activities for children and young people, making them play to forget, even for a few moments, the tragedy of war."
If the governments of the international community remain lukewarm, this is not the case for those who are participating in the campaign.
Together, they constitute almost a "new" international community, committed to wiping out the "globalisation of indifference," with gifts come from China, Taiwan, Switzerland (in particular the Diocese of Lugano), the Czech Republic, Poland, France, Brazil, etc.
Some friends have asked us if the "adoption" will become permanent. Some people have in fact made a second and a third monthly donation.
It is our belief that the campaign should last as long as the emergency lasts. Consequently, we ask you to be generous, but "without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor, 9:7).