Background: Father Ammar Simon is a Syriac Catholic priest forced to flee from his home on the Nineveh Plain by the Islamic State. He now lives with his parishioners near Erbil in an area of Iraq administered by the Kurdish government.
Father Ammar runs the Holy Family Center, an NGO (non-governmental organization) which serves the material needs of displaced Christians. Father Ammar is a friend of SPC, whom we met on a recent trip to the region.
Father Ammar recently contacted SPC to report an urgent need for baby supplies: formula, diapers, medicines and other care products. He asked us for our help. Father Ammar recognized not only that the health of infant Christians was at risk, but also that without the ability to adequately care for their children, their parents will become desperate.
Update: SPC sent Father Ammar an emergency gift to begin immediately buying baby supplies, and then we went to our supporters to ask for contributions to meet all of Father Ammar’s needs. The response has been overwhelming – and all of the funds given us for this emergency appeal have now been sent to Father Ammar – as we promised.
The priority of the Christian bishops-in-exile is to keep their people together, awaiting the opportunity to go home. These bishops know Christians will face a very uncertain future if they flee to Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan –
or, worse, try to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. And this is what the Christians themselves want, to go home. The Holy Family Center helps make it possible for them to persevere where they are.
Father Ammar has sent us photographs of the Holy Family Center distributing supplies to Christian mothers. See the fruits of your generous contribution. We have sent Father Ammar the list of people who contributed to our appeal, so that he can pray for them individually. If you gave to the Holy Family Center appeal, please know that group of Christians in far-off Iraq are remembering you in their prayers.
Thank you, and may Our Lord continue to bless you and your family.