NEW HAVEN – Having already donated more than $3 million in humanitarian aid to persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, the Knights of Columbus will expand its efforts even further with a national campaign to raise funds and foster awareness of the terrible suffering of Christians and others in the Middle East.
As part of the K of C effort, a new commercial on the issue began airing nationally over the weekend of July 25-26.
The fraternal organization will announce additional details of its program to aid Christian refugees at its international convention being held August 4-6 in Philadelphia. In attendance will be archbishops from Iraq and Syria, where the violence against Christians has been particularly severe.
An article about the deafening silence of the international community on this issue appeared July 26 in The New York Times Magazine in a cover story, “Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?”
In the article, author Eliza Oswold reports that, “according to a Pew study, more Christians are now faced with religious persecution than at any time since their early history.”
The Knights began its Christian Refugee Relief Fund in August 2014 with $1 million in matching funds that was quickly met and exceeded by its members and the public. The humanitarian assistance provided has included new housing for those who have had to flee their homes, as well as support for medical facilities in areas flooded with Christian and other refugees.
“Christians in the Middle East are facing a dire situation – and even extinction – while the response from the international community has woefully inadequate,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. “Pope Francis has urged the international community to take action to help Christians in the Middle East, and, as an organization that has long supported victims of religious persecution, the Knights of Columbus is responding by asking our own members, and the public at large, to help us save the lives of people who are being persecuted simply because of their Christian faith.”
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 K of C has a long history of providing humanitarian relief and has done so following the 9/11 terrorist attacks; the 2013 typhoons in the Philippines; hurricanes Katrina and Sandy; nationwide tornadoes; flooding in Mexico; and tsunamis in Indonesia and Japan.
In the area of support for victims of religious persecution, the Knights provided humanitarian assistance and created international awareness of the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico throughout the 1920s.
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization with nearly 1.9 million members worldwide. One of the most active charitable organizations in the United States, the Knights of Columbus donated more than $173.5 million and 71.5 million hours of service in 2014.
For more information visit www.christiansatrisk.org, #ChristiansAtRisk