This Christmas season hundreds of thousands of Christians remained displaced after they were forced to flee from the atrocities of ISIS and fighting in Syria and Iraq. This week, the activists submitted to the United Nations a petition with more than wasmostly thousands of signatures calling on leaders to help persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria. Robert Nicholson from “Project Doctor” told about the petition and trying to help these Christians to go home.
“President trump decided to send US aid to other countries through the UN programme, and the first directly — with the help of USAID to help rebuild the Christian communities and the communities of other religious minorities had neglected for so long,” — said Vice-President Mike Pence as a trump administration provides assistance to Christian refugees in the middle East.
MHN: Robert, what experience in the field of persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria after the expulsion of ISIS from there? What it’s like to be a refugee?
Robert Nicholson, “The Project Doctor”:
Do the Christians of Iraq found itself in an uncertain position. On the one hand, we know that was done by ISIS. They forced people to leave their villages, forced them to accept Islam or killed. And now ISIS retreated. So, on the one hand, the Christians of Iraq are now in a better position for the last three years. On the other hand, those few who have already decided to go back, find that all their villages destroyed, and the houses in which they lived, now only a pile of rubble. The same and schools where their children studied. Thus, they found themselves between two fires. And Iraq is still ongoing conflict. So they have is the uncertainty in the future. They think: Yes, now the situation has improved, but is there a future for me and my family?
MAN What do you think about the administration’s decision to trump to operate in circumvention of the UN directly with organizations on the ground?
This is what for several years has called our organization a “Project Doctor” as well as several other organizations. You need to understand that all of our means to assist, that is, with the hard-earned taxpayer dollars, through the United Nations, which then distributes them through other organizations. And by the time every dollar comes to Iraq, this ten cents, if it ever comes back. We personally meet with Church leaders, community leaders, and we know that in these communities know better their needs. Why give the money to third parties to guide them into place, while you can just hand them out on the ground? Therefore, the President trump and Vice-President of the Pens actually gave us the opportunity to give our money directly to these leaders and these communities, considering that they know how best to spend the money. They know what their needs are, and how they are best addressed.
MHN: what can make people who hear us right now, sitting at home? How can they help?
The most important thing that people should do is to talk about the problem. This may seem so unimportant: who cares? But I say it to people in their Church, tell their pastor. I assure you, knows far less people than you think. So what you are saying about it in your Church, in your city, in your school. You are the one who knows about this problem, and you are responsible for its lighting. People don’t know about it. All think that this issue does not matter. In fact, most people simply do not know about it. And people who still know, just have to start talking about it, to point things like this petition, as well as to the work already underway to help people return.