Crowdfunding campaign aims to raise $1 million for Iraqi Christians
Catholic News Agency Oct. 23, 2014
A Catholic lay organization has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise awareness and money to help persecuted Christians and other minorities in Iraq. “How can common lay people of faith throughout the world help martyr communities in Iraq with something more than their valuable prayers?” asked Gabriela Paz, president of La Filotea Productions, Inc., in an Oct. 14 statement. “Knowing that faith without works is dead, the answer is with their pocket, by contributing funds for much-needed relief efforts in these communities,” Paz went on to say. La Filotea Productions is a Catholic lay organization that dedicates itself to evangelization through multimedia and works of mercy. It produces a Catholic radio program, La Filotea – Alma Que Ama A Dios, and manages online social networking, as well as an online Catholic book store on Amazon. The campaign initiated by La Filotea endeavors to raise at least $1 million to provide food, clean water, shelter, clothing, medical aid, and other basic necessities to the persecuted minorities in Iraq. All the funds that are raised will directly provide humanitarian relief to those in need, through two Catholic religious orders in the area. Paz explained that La Filotea Productions has “teamed up with the Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives, and the Institute of the Incarnate Word” in establishing the Catholic Relief Fund for Christians and Other Minorities in Iraq. “Throughout history, many Christians were persecuted and became martyrs as they defended their faith, laying down their lives for the love of Jesus Christ,” said Fr. Kurt Klismet, O.SS.T, director of advancement for the Order of the Most Holy Trinity of the Captives. “History is now repeating itself as more than 1.2 million Christians and other religious minorities have been driven from their homes in Iraq, under threat of death or heavy fines if they do not convert and renounce their faith.” The Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives (The Trinitarians) was founded in 1198 by St. John de Matha as a Catholic religious order. Its goal was to ransom Christian captives, as well as to perform works of mercy for the poor and suffering. The Trinitarians will be receiving and distributing the funds raised through the campaign, along with the Institute of the Incarnate Word is also a religious order, a religious order that serves local bishops, often as teachers or by providing services. “Christians and other minorities in Iraq are being persecuted, murdered, made slaves, and driven from the homes they have occupied since the early Christian communities were formed by the Apostles after the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ,” emphasized Fr. Luis Montes, pastor of the Latin Cathedral of St. Joseph in Bagdad, and missionary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word. The crowdfunding campaign will run from Oct. 14-Nov. 24, and can be found on Indiegogo, which is one of the largest crowdfunding platforms in the world. Almost $5,000 of the $1 million goal has been raised so far. “We invite all of our brothers and sisters in Christ to join us and contribute, from as little as $10, to the crowdfunding campaign that we have initiated,” stated Eduardo Paz, co-founder of La Filotea Productions.