152 Iraqi Christians may come to Czech Republic

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Written by Czech News Agency Hits: A tattoo of Jesus Christ is seen on the arm of an Iraqi Christian volunteer from the northern embattled Mosul governorate, as he attends a training session at a base in Baghdad airport on July 1, 2015, after joining the Popular Mobilisation units in the combat against Islamic State (IS) group fighters. AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
Group seeks approval of list of names, is ready to cover costs
Prague, July 28 (?TK) — The Generace 21 foundation wants to bring 152 Christian refugees from Iraq who have been persecuted by the Islamic State militants to the Czech Republic, it handed their list to the Government Office and it only needs the approval of Czech authorities, its representatives said today.
In February, people from the Czech foundation talked to Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka about the plan. “The meeting gave us the feeling that this project may succeed,” the foundation’s head Jan Talafant said.
The foundation is ready to cover the costs of the transfer of the refugees to the Czech Republic and the first year of their stay in the country. It can provide accommodation for all the refugees who would be integrated into Czech society, its representatives said.
They said further persecuted Christians from Iraq could come to live in the Czech Republic if this transfer is successful.
Jan Dezort, one of the organizers of the project, said it has not been clear yet whether the 152 Iraqi Christians could be included among the refugees whom the Czech Republic promised to accept from Middle East refugee camps within the plans that the European Union agreed on.
“The list includes families who lost their homes and husbands who lost their jobs, and family members were killed in some cases,” Dezort said about the Iraqi Christians who might settle in the CzechRepublic.
One of the applicants is Rania who is living in a refugee camp with her three children and whose husband, a police officer, was killed by a bomb planted by Islamic State when he guarded a hospital gate.
Many children witnessed Islamists killing people and many of the Christians received death threats.
The applicants for resettlement are whole families or widows with children. Most of them are young people ready to settle, study and work in the Czech Republic, half of the men are university graduates or have higher education and the life stories of all the applicants are known, Dezort said.
“A genocide of Christians is going on in Iraq and we cannot just be passively watching,” he said.
“These people have no future (in their homeland) and they can never get out of there. We will either get them out of the hell or they will die,” said Dan Drapal, another initiator of the project.
Generace 21 handed the list of applicants to the Government Office on July 23. The foundation needs to receive the approval of the government and the Interior Ministry to launch the project. As soon as they get it, they would start with the transfer of the applicants, its organizers said.
Polish authorities managed to approve a plan for accepting 1,500 Christian refugees in several weeks, the foundation said.
The International Children’s Cross, a Czech humanitarian group, called on the Czech state to accept orphans, pregnant women and mothers with babies from Middle East refugee camps.
The group’s head Ta?jana Horáková said the country should accept 50 orphans and a similar number of women from Syria who would raise these children.

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