Before you read the letter and appeal below for the Christians persecuted, crucified, slaughtered, and chased from their homes in Syria and Iraq by ISIS, I want to tell you my own story.
A month ago we were in Istanbul and we heard a liturgy going on in the side chapel. We could tell it was not familiar, that it must be an Eastern Rite liturgy. Afterwards we talk to the small group with their priest who had been celebrating the Mass. We found that they had just escaped from Iraq where their whole village and their relatives were being slaughtered and killed. They had escaped across the border into Turkey with only the shirts on their backs. It left us all in tears and very moved.
Now read below and see if you are able to help some of these Christians fighting for their lives their family and their faith.
This year, the Child Jesus will be born amid the containers, halls and schools crammed with Christian refugees who fled Mosul pushed by the militias of the Islamic State, Mosul Archbishop Mgr Amel Nona said to us a in a letter.
A refugee himself in Kurdistan, he is working on meeting the emergency spiritual and material needs of his flock. Yet, he notes, despite the misery of losing everything, Christian refugees have not lost the faith or the desire to bear witness to it in their own land, from which they were expelled.
Mgr Nona’s letter, which we publish in its entirety, is a response to the third transfer of funds raised through ‘Adopt a Christian from Mosul’ campaign. In November, AsiaNews transferred 212,901.88 Euros. If we include 672,517.72 Euros already transferred, we reach a total contribution of 885,419.6 Euros. In view of such abundant generosity, our gratitude goes to the Lord and all of you who contributed, in some cases by giving up certain things.
Many readers and friends have asked us whether the campaign will go on, if “adopting” a Christian from Mosul means that help will continue beyond the immediate crisis. We think so since Christians – but also Yazidis and Muslims – are still living in a situation of emergency with radical and essential needs that must be met. Our refugee brothers and sisters remain in need of solidarity.
Even Pope Francis, a few days ago, sent a message to the Christians of Mosul in Kurdistan in which he expressed his closeness and desire to be with them.
During a visit to refugees in Kurdistan, the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, Louis Sako, called on fellow Christians in Iraq to fast before Christmas and celebrate the holidays – including New Year – with moderation in order to be close to the pain and sense of loss people have experienced because of their faith, and to call on the Lord Jesus to help them go home, to Mosul.
At AsiaNews, we call on all of our friends to do the same, fast and celebrate with moderation, and send any of the money saved as a donation to meet the needs of our refugee brothers and sisters through the ‘Adopt a Christian from Mosul’ campaign.
Wishing you a Christmas full of fraternity and gratitude.
Fr. Bernardo Cervellera
Donations can be made in a number of ways. Indicate that the donation is for ‘AsiaNews – Adopt a Christian from Mosul’:
– Italian postal account no. 45443009, payable to the Pontificio Istituto Missioni Estere, under “causale” ‘AsiaNews – Adopt a Christian from Mosul’
– Via bank transfer to the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) – AsiaNews – C/C 05000/1000/00118726
at BANCA PROSSIMA S.p.A. for social enterprises and communities, Gruppo Intesa Sanpaolo MILAN BRANCH
Address: PIAZZA PAOLO FERRARI, 10 20121 MILANO (MI) ITALY
Bank details/IBAN: IT98G0335901600100000118726
Swift Code: BCITITMX
Causale (payment for) ‘AsiaNews – Adopt a Christian from Mosul’
– Via bank draft, addressed to
AsiaNews c/o PIME, Via Guerrazzi 11, 00152 Rome RM, Italy
For donations that can benefit from a tax deduction/credit:
Bank transfer payable to: Fondazione PIME Onlus, Credito Valtellinese S.C. – Piazza San Fedele, 4-20121 MILAN (Italy)
IBAN IT 11 W 05 216 000 000 005 733 01630. Bank Identifier Code (BIC): BPCVIT2S
Please, always send a fax (to 02.4695193) or an email (to email@example.com) to confirm the transfer, specifying name and address (to receive tax deduction/credit receipt)