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/ 12 November 2015

Lent Appeal 2016 – Persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria

Refugees outside a tent, with the word 'Jesus' written on it

It is clear that sadly there is no imminent end to the systematic and harsh persecution of the Christian Church in Iraq and Syria. A tragedy of historic proportions is unfolding and there is a threat to the very survival of the Christian population in some of the most ancient homelands of our faith. If the relentless violence against our brothers and sisters in Christ falls out of the daily news it is only because it has become so commonplace as to be unremarkable.

The Apostle Paul reminds us that as the Body of Christ, spread now throughout the world, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it.” (1 Cor 12.26) How can we, who have so much and enjoy such freedoms, not at least pray for these dear brothers and sisters and their families in all their distress?

Although prayer is an essential act of solidarity with those who suffer, it must be matched by actions. As part of our Lent almsgiving in 2016, I hope that many of our parishes will be able to support two reputable charities who are already active among the beleaguered Christian communities in Iraq and Syria.

Open Doors is providing emergency food supplies and hygiene kits to almost 10,000 families every month in Syria. In Iraq, Aid to the Church in Need is focusing on the urgent needs for housing, medicine and education which will enable the Church to maintain its Christian presence and witness to Jesus Christ.

Please pray and please give.

Visit www.london.anglican.org/lentappeal for more information about this year’s appeal.

About Richard Chartres

The Rt Revd Richard Chartres KCVO was the 132nd Bishop of London from November 1995 until March 2017.

Read more from Richard Chartres

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