NEW HAVEN, Conn., March 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A year after the U.S. Congress and State Department declared that ISIS was committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities, the Knights of Columbus is continuing its humanitarian support for persecuted Christian communities in the region by contributing nearly $2 million in new assistance.
Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson announced the organization's $1.9 million in new assistance, noting: "A year ago, our country declared with one voice that genocide was occurring to Christians and other religious minority communities, but words are not enough." He added: "Those targeted for genocide continue to need our assistance, especially since many have received no funding from the U.S. government or from the United Nations. The new administration should rectify the policies it found in place, and stop the de facto discrimination that is continuing to endanger these communities targeted by ISIS for genocide."
The Knights of Columbus donation includes support for:
- Medical clinics in Iraq
- Easter food baskets for displaced Christians under the care of the Archdiocese of Erbil
- General relief for the Christians of Aleppo, Syria, via the city's Melkite Archdiocese
- Support for the Christian refugee relief programs of the Syriac Catholic patriarch
The K of C has raised more than $12 million for Christian refugee relief since 2014.
The Knights also spearheaded the campaign that led to last year's March 17 genocide declaration by the State Department. As part of the effort, the organization and its partners prepared a nearly 300-page report on the genocide being carried out against Christians by ISIS and other extremist groups. The State Department's declaration was only the second instance in which the U.S. government declared an ongoing situation to be genocide.
Anderson has said 2017 may be "the decisive year in determining whether many Christian communities throughout the Middle East will continue to exist," and has called for aid from the U.S. government and the international community. He has also urged prayer for "those who are being persecuted and killed for their faith," and announced that the K of C will lead a Novena of Grace and Solidarity that will be prayed by the Knights and others for nine straight days from March 12 to 20.
Donations to support Christian refugees can be made at www.christiansatrisk.org and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc. is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a charitable organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, and 100 percent of all donations will be used to assist Christians and other religious minorities, primarily from Iraq and Syria.
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SOURCE Knights of Columbus