ACN helps Iraqi Christian refugees in Jordan
Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has allocated $68,400 of humanitarian aid for Christian refugees from Iraq. This will support about 200 families from the Mosul region who have been taken in by the Catholic Parish Mary, Mother of the Church in Amman, Jordan.
Father Khalil Jaar, pastor of Mary Mother of the Church in Amman, Jordan for some months now has been a gracious host to Chaldean refugees from Iraq, where ISIS forces have driven them from their homes.
He told international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need: “The people arrived here with nothing. They therefore urgently need anything that could in any way be useful, such as shoes, clothing, blankets and medicine."
"Daily meals also need to be provided for about 200 families. No one can say for how many days or months they will be living in our parish.”
Families are no longer only living in the rectory; some have in the meantime been moved to apartments the parish has rented in the surrounding neighborhood.
“We are still taking in new arrivals every day. We have started renting small apartment close to our church. We are housing at least two families in each of these because the rents are very high.”
In addition to meeting everyday necessities, the parish is also caring for the psychological needs of the children and their parents as well as organizing discussion groups and prayer meetings, Father Jaar said. He explained that the Christians who fled Mosul to escape ISIS have been traumatized:
“The Muslim extremists who conquered Mosul last summer gave Christians the choice of either converting to Islam, paying a tax or risk being executed. The result was a mass exodus of Christians to the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan."
"A man told me how they were inspected at an ISIS checkpoint as they fled Mosul. Everything was taken from them, money, passports, jewellery and watches. Their three-year-old son was not even allowed to take his milk bottle with him.”
King Abdullah II of Jordan has reacted to the persecution by allowing many of the Christians from Mosul to stay in his country.
“The king has proclaimed his sympathy and his support for the persecuted groups and has condemned the violent acts of the ISIS as not Islamic.”
With picture of Iraqi Christian refugee in Jordan (Photo: ACN)