Ad Highlights Christian Fear of Genocide in Middle Eastern Refugee Camps

Absence from camps hinders Christian refugee immigration to the West

Nov 19, 2015, 13:31 ET from Knights of Columbus

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite the promise of safe harbor, fleeing Middle Eastern Christians continue to fear the ongoing genocide — even in refugee camps — according to international observers whose voices are being amplified by a new advertising campaign sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

The ad, which ran this week in Roll Call, Politico and The Hill, quotes Lord David Alton and MP Fiona Bruce, who recently spoke out about the problem in refugee camps, citing press reports.

The British newspaper The Express reported in late October that "the fanatical jihadis are sending teams of trained killers into camps disguised as refugees to kidnap and kill vulnerable Christians. But refugees are terrified to report many of the killings in case they are targeted next, according to aid workers."

The story added that when one terrorist got "cold feet" about his assignment, he "then revealed that he had been sent with an Islamist hit squad to eliminate Christians as part of the hate group's ideological drive to wipe the religion off the map."

In addition, it noted, "An aid worker at a United Nations (UN) run camp in Jordan, who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisals, revealed that the jihadis are also kidnapping young refugee girls to sell on as sex slaves."

"It is increasingly clear that because Christians fear that the persecution and genocide will continue in these refugee camps, they often don't enter them, and as a result find it nearly impossible to qualify for resettlement as refugees," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "This country and others should protect those who are experiencing this genocide. We must ensure that Christians and other religious minorities, who are the most vulnerable people in the region, receive the chance for asylum and don't simply fall through the bureaucratic cracks."

This is the second ad the Knights of Columbus has placed on this topic in these publications. The first was released last month and highlighted a quote by Pope Francis: "Genocide is taking place and it must end." That ad called for passage of a House of Representatives resolution to protect religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East.

In addition, the Knights of Columbus has donated more than $4.4 million to assist Christians and other religious minorities now facing extinction in the Middle East.

Most recently, the program donated $500,000 to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) earlier this month to support the Jordanian Catholic Church's schooling of Syrian and Iraqi refugees at 18 Jordanian Catholic schools. Earlier in the fall, the Knights spent more than $800,000 to provide food assistance for more than 13,500 displaced families and brought an Iraqi child to the United States for specialized medical care.

Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization with nearly 1.9 million members worldwide. It is also one of the most active charitable organizations in the United States. The Knights also set a new record for charitable giving in 2014 with donations of more than $173.5 million and 71.5 million hours of service to charitable causes, much of it raised and donated by its more than 15,000 councils. For more information, visit or follow the Knights of Columbus on Facebook and Twitter at @kofc.

For more information on persecuted Christians, visit — hashtag #ChristiansAtRisk.

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SOURCE Knights of Columbus