Knights of Columbus to send food aid to Iraqi Christians

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By Register Staff
Screenshot from Knights of Columbus TV commercial about Iraqi Christian refugees.
NEW HAVEN >> The Knights of Columbus will send food supplies to 13,500 mostly Christian families who have fled from northern Iraqi cities to the Erbil area in Kurdistan, at a total cost of $810,000, according to a press release.

The Knights also are airing a TV commercial in which the Rev. Douglas Bazi, who runs the Mar Elia Refugee Camp in Erbil, pleads for help for the uprooted Iraqis. Bazi himself has been kidnapped and tortured by extremists.

Bazi asks viewers to “pray for my people, help my people, and save my people,” adding, “I believe you can.”

The Christian and Yazidi refugees are from Mosul and the Nineveh plain, where attacks by the Islamic State have killed or forced out almost the entire non-Muslim population. In August, 2,000 Christians and Yazidis were massacred in Nineveh by ISIS, according to the Christian Post. According to the Knights’ commercial, no Christians are left in Mosul.

The Knights’ aid to the Middle East now totals more than $4 million with the addition of the food aid, which includes a month’s supply of rice, sugar, cooking oil, tomato sauce, beans, wheat, pasta, cheese, fish, meat and tea. Each package costs $60, including transportation.

“Christians in the Middle East face persecution and extinction simply for their belief in the one who taught us to love one another,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.

“Despite the genocidal persecution against them, they have continued to be an inspiration to the power of their faith, and to the love of God and neighbor. They need our solidarity and support, and we are pleased to help provide it.”

Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil and Melkite Archbishop Jean Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo, Syria, attended the K of C’s international convention in Philadelphia last month.

To assist with the relief efforts, go to or send a check or money order payable to Knights of Columbus Charities, P.O. Box 1966, New Haven, CT 06509-1966. Write “Christian Refugee Relief” in the memo of the check.

The Knights, a Roman Catholic fraternity founded and based in New Haven, have more than 1.9 million members worldwide. They also run an insurance company.