Rome, Aug 27, 2007 / 09:57 am (CNA).- The plight of the Iraqi Christian community is one that is quite desperate even though it has existed for centuries. In response to the dire situation, Iraqi Christians in Need (ICIN) has been founded to provide money for food, medicine and education.
A recent UN Refugee Agency report states that 44% of the refugees that enter Syria are Christians even though they compromise only 4% of the total population.
The new agency provides funding for food, medicine and education through local churches.
Vatican Radioâ€™s Susie Hodges spoke with ICINâ€™s Suha Rassam, about the new organization. Rassam said, â€œSince the very early the beginnings of 2003 in the form of riots, kidnappings, extortions, you may say that they have affected all Iraqi citizens, that is true, but from the beginning it was more common among the Christians. Recently, however, there have been direct threats asking them to convert to Islam or leave their homes.â€
Rassam also noted that the situation of Christians in Iraq has largely been ignored by the press. The comment she is often dismissed with is, â€˜everyone is suffering in Iraq.â€™ But she objects that the plight of Christians is much different, because they have no militias to protect them and thus become the constant targets of extortionists.
For more information on ICIN visit their website http://www.icin.org.uk/index.html
ICIN is a registered charity organization in the UK.