This Lent, an opportunity to help Middle East Christians

Children at Sharia Al Haman Hope Refugee Camp in Duhok, Iraq on March 28, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.
Children at Sharia Al Haman Hope Refugee Camp in Duhok, Iraq on March 28, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

.- A gift of 40 dollars in Lent could help persecuted Christians and other refugees in the Middle East, thanks to the latest appeal from the Knights of Columbus.

“During the Lenten season, we recall Christ’s suffering and death,” Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said Feb. 9. “In turn, remembering and assisting those who are today suffering and dying for their belief in Christ is an excellent way to do good where it is most needed and to enter more deeply into the spirit of this season.”

Anderson noted the traditional Lenten habit of making sacrifices. He said the Knights of Columbus wanted to provide “an opportunity for their sacrifice to make a difference – not only in their own life, but in the lives of others.”

The Catholic fraternal order is promoting its “40 Bucks for Lent” donation campaign using the hashtag #40BucksForLent to benefit its Christian Refugee Relief Fund.

The Knights of Columbus began the relief fund in 2014. It has raised nearly $10 million for persecuted Christians and other religious minorities, particularly those from Iraq and Syria fleeing the violence of ISIS.

The fund helps provide housing, food, medical aid, education and other relief. In 2015, the Knights of Columbus helped bring a young Iraqi girl to the U.S. so she could receive specialized medical care.

The fund also supports efforts to raise awareness about the refugees’ situation through television commercials and news stories.

Anderson has testified on Capitol Hill about the refugee situation. He has also joined other U.S. leaders in asking the U.S. State Department to recognize the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians as genocide.

The Knights of Columbus has nearly 1.9 million members worldwide.

Donations to the refugee relief fund are tax deductible. The Knights of Columbus said that 100 percent of all donations support humanitarian assistance and awareness raising efforts.

The Christian Refugee Relief Fund’s website is at http://ChristiansAtRisk.org.

Tags: Lent, Persecuted Christians, Knights of Columbus, ISIS

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