As Christians continue to face unprecedented persecution — especially in the Middle East — the Knights of Columbus have announced a new campaign to send humanitarian aid and raise awareness about their plight. “Pope Francis has urged the international community to take action to help Christians in the Middle East, and as an organization that has long supported victims of religious persecution, the Knights of Columbus is responding by asking our own members, and the public at large, to help us save the lives of people who are being persecuted simply because of their Christian faith,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in a July 24 press release. The details of the new program will be announced at an Aug. 4-6 international convention in Philadelphia, but for now, a television commercial has begun airing nationally to raise awareness about the plight of Christians in the Middle East. The Knights launched their Christian Refugee Relief Fund last August with a $1 million matching fund, but the need for support still remains great today. To date, the organization and its members have given over $3 million in support of the cause. In her July 22 article for The New York Times Magazine, “Is This The End of Christianity in the Middle East?” Eliza Griswold cited a Pew study which said that Christians are now facing more persecution “than at any time since their early history.” Anderson voiced his concern over the lack of attention given to the issue saying, “Christians in the Middle East are facing a dire situation — and even extinction — while the response from the international community has been woefully inadequate.” Those who wish to help the Knights of Columbus in providing assistance to persecuted Christians can make a donation on their website, christiansatrisk.org or send a check or money order payable to Knights of Columbus Charities at P.O. Box 1966, New Haven, CT 06509-1966. The memo portion should indicate that the check is for Christian Refugee Relief.
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