A place of refuge for Iraqi refugees
Imagine being given three options because of your faith: Stay in your home and convert. Leave your country with nothing. Stay, don’t convert and die.
These were the options our Christian sisters and brothers faced in Mosul, northern Iraq. So many were forced to leave their homeland. When they reached the border, their suitcases with a few personal items from home were taken from them. And at the refugee camps in Jordan they were told that as Christians, it was down to the Church to look after them.
Mercifully, some of these refugees have found sanctuary thanks to Fr Khalil Jaar, parish priest in Amman, Jordan. He’s offered his parish hall for Iraqi Christian families while they wait to hear if they will gain recognised refugee status.
Accommodation is basic. The hall is divided with blankets to try and give a little privacy to each family. But at least for now they have a roof over their heads and know they have not been completely abandoned.
The parish is in a walled compound. At its entrance is a permanently parked car, to try and prevent car bombs exploding within the parish boundary. Because having fled their homes, and still being uncertain about the future, these families now live under constant threat of attack.
Please donate to support Fr Khalil and the work of the Church around the world in sharing God’s love with those who need it most.
Hope for the future
Alongside somewhere to stay, volunteers have worked with Fr Khalil to set up an informal school for around 400 children. As Christian refugees, these children are not allowed to attend a state school in Jordan. They have been through so much at such a young age, the trauma is too clear to see on their innocent faces. The school gives them a sense of purpose, a routine, somewhere to play and make new friends, as well as hope for the future. They even make their own uniforms!
It is a situation that we can barely imagine. Hopefully these families will only have to stay there for a short time, but for as long as they need support, Fr Khalil is determined to share God’s loving mercy with our sisters and brothers who turn up on his door step.
He is showing them the welcome we hope would be offered to us in such a desperate situation, and he does so in our name too. But he needs our prayerful and financial support to continue.
Fr Khalil, and the universal Church around the world, need your support to share God’s love with those who need it most. Please donate today.