23 May 2017
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  • » 03/13/2017, 13.24

    IRAQ

    Fr. Samir Youssef: Lent, a special time to support refugees from Mosul (PHOTOS)

    Samir Youssef

    Food, clothes, money, kerosene for heating: These are just some of the many needs. The offensive against the Islamic Republic in recent weeks has generated a new wave of refugees, and needs. The period of preparation for Easter an opportunity "to feel the need of others, and be close to them."

    Erbil (AsiaNews) - Food, clothes, money, kerosene for heating, monetary support to allow families permit their children to study, contributing not only to the school fees, but also to the public transport costs. There are many initiatives promoted by the Church in favor of the Iraqi refugees in Mosul and the Nineveh plain, who fled in the summer of 2014 with the rise of the Islamic State (IS) and were welcomed in towns and villages of Iraqi Kurdistan. Many of these are run by Catholic associations and organizations, which do not distinguish between Christians, Muslims and Yazidis, all united in need.

    At the head of one of these centers is Fr. Samir Youssef, Iraqi priest who has been on the front since the very beginning of the emergency. He along with others, is the recipient of the donations made through the  AsiaNews campaign "Adopt a Christian from Mosul." But the needs, as the priest says, are many and it is difficult to respond to all the needs. An example? "To distribute food parcels – he writes - for a month to nearly 600 families who do not have any resources or help, we need almost 15 thousand dollars”.

    To aggravate the already difficult situation, the offensive under way in Mosul has created hundreds of thousands of new refugees. "Now that we are in the period of Lent - continues the priest - it's time to feel the needs of others, and be close to them".

    In this period of preparation for Easter, Fr. Samir’s appeal is an urgent request. Donations can be made by following the campaign "Adopt a Christian from Mosul." The photos in this gallery are the visual testimony of how money offered to the campaign is used on the ground.

    Dearest Fr. Bernardo Cervellera,

    Firstly, I pray to the Lord you are all well.

    The photos I sent regarding our distribution of aid to displaced families housed at Enishke, a mountain village between Zakho and Dohuk. This is where Yazidi, Christian and Muslim families were welcomed and have lived since 2014.

    Our parish has been trying to help these families for three years by distributing food parcels, clothes, cash, blankets, kerosene for heating, medicines and many other materials necessities. In addition, we seek to contribute to the education of children by supporting the expenses so that they can attend school.

    In the pictures you see the distribution of kerosene, food, blankets for the Yazidi children living in our village Enishke.

    In order to do all that we can, we count on the contribution of a group of my parish volunteers. We can respond to these basic needs, thanks to the money that is sent to by you and other communities.

    However, we are not always able to access these aid programs. An example: to distribute food parcels for a month to nearly 600 families who do not have any resources or help, and we need almost 15 thousand dollars. We too sometimes encounter difficulty receiving aid or money. This happens, in essence, for two reasons: the first reason is that many organizations are helping families fleeing Mosul because of the offensive underway. And the second reason ... I'll explain it later, because the situation is delicate!

    That said, there is always something that comes to our rescue, there's always a hand from the Lord Who keeps us and never leaves us alone. Thanks to you and to all those who believe in the love of God, who works and works without complicating things. I do not know if we can continue our service to our neighbors who suffer, but what I know and believe is that, tomorrow like today, we will do all in our power to that no one who is experiencing times of trouble are left alone.

    Especially now that we are in the period of Lent, which is the time to feel the needs of others, and be close to them. And to experience the love of God, in the most concrete way.

    My thanks to all of you.

    With a fraternal embrace in Christ.

    Fr. Samir Youssef.

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    See also

    23/11/2016 14:42:00 IRAQ
    Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home

    In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.



    23/03/2016 15:01:00 IRAQ
    Easter solidarity: from Mosul refugees to the poorest families

    Don Paul Thabit Mekko, in charge of the refugee camp "Eyes of Erbil" speaks of Holy Week. The community organizes fundraising and money to be donated to the poorest Christian and Muslim families. The desire to revive traditions and songs of native villages, praying to one day return to their homes. The community keeps hope alive.



    04/08/2016 12:14:00 IRAQ
    Louis Sako: Two years on from expulsion of Christians from Mosul and Nineveh

    In a message issued today, the Chaldean Patriarch remembers the tragedy, while rumors of a Daesh defeat and a possible return of families to their homes spread. The call to rebuild the Iraqi nation by rejecting vengeance, the use of religion as a weapon against others; to combat terrorism by stopping the authors, but also those who bank-roll and preach violence. A new social pact for Iraq of coexistence among different races and religions.



    09/01/2015 IRAQ
    Rami, a refugee in Erbil: "We cannot run away, the future of Christians is in Iraq"
    Originally from Karamles, upon the arrival of the Islamic State the young man fled with his family. Now he is a guest at a refugee camp, where he promotes activities for the children. Many, including friends and acquaintances, have emigrated abroad; but "our roots, our life, our future is in Iraq."

    08/01/2015 IRAQ
    School and work: the problems of the young refugees of Mosul
    The war is drying up Kurdistan's budget: it must pay for the soldiers, the weapons, the police checks on the roads. Between war and new economic and social problems (oil prices, new refugees) it risks a crisis. And the young people, refugees and non-refugees, are struggling to find work. In the schools Kurdish is spoken, while the children of Mosul speak Arabic. People who evoke the most compassion are the elderly: nothing to do all day, a different climate from that to which they were accustomed, their existence turned upside down...



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


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