Nonprofit, Knights of Columbus Host Fundraiser to Support Victims of Genocide
By Reema Makani Boccia
May 7, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Hope for Iraqi Christians, a nonprofit organization supporting Christian refugees persecuted by ISIS, and the Knights of Columbus Mar Toma Council #10981 raised over $270,000 during a fundraising event on Thursday, May 5th in ElCajon. There were nearly 500 guests in attendance at the invite-only event hosted at the St. Peter’s Cathedral church hall.
Guest speakers for the evening included Father Douglas Bazi (pictured below), a Chaldean Catholic priest from Arbil, Iraq, who was kidnapped and tortured by ISIS, as well as Johnnie Moore, a human rights activist and author of the book Defying ISIS. The speakers recounted riveting firsthand accounts at the hands of fanatical extremists and persecution of Christians in the birthplace of Christ.
“We never cease to be humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we receive from our brothers and sisters in Christ,” said Knights of Columbus Mar Toma Council President Kamal Alsawaf. “One hundred percent of funds donated are sent to facilitate basic necessities for refugee families in camps, including medicine, food, blankets, clothes and other needs.”
Thousands of Iraqi Christians driven from their homes are now scattered and homeless throughout the Middle East, and facing an uncertain future. The event’s funds will help provide the basic necessities for these innocent victims.
“There are more than 40,000 Chaldeans and other Iraqi Christians residing in El Cajon, which has one of the world’s largest concentrations of Chaldeans,” said local Chaldean community leader Dr. Noori Barka. “People of all faiths and ethnicities have united for this common cause, and we are so grateful to the generosity of everyone’s contributions.”
To make a donation of any size, please visit http://www.hopeforiraqichristians.org/.