Open Doors: Urgent Need For Emergency Aid Donations For Christian Refugees Fleeing ISIS

Fighters of al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant parade at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey January 2, 2014. ((Photo: Reuters/YASER AL-KHODOR))

Open Doors just published an urgent need for emergency aid donations to care for Christian refugees affected by ISIS in Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

"In 2003, there were more than 2 million Christians in Iraq. Today, only thousands remain," said the Christian nonprofit dedicated to helping the persecuted worldwide in a statement on the refugee crisis.

Open Doors field workers said there is currently a $20 million funding gap for Christian refugees displaced by ISIS. Some of these do not have access to food.

This year, the Open Doors Gift Catalog has been prioritized to display the most urgent need—shelter and emergency aid for Christian refugees—at the top of its 19 gifts, which also include support for Colombian children, trauma counseling, rebuilding destroyed churches, and medical services.

A donation of $50 will feed a family for a month.

More than 7.6 million Christians have been displaced since the beginning of the war in Syria, Open Doors says. Iraqi IDs require religion to be listed, making Christians some of the most vulnerable people to persecution.

"Sadly," says Open Doors, "in spite of the need, few organizations are staying. Open Doors has been in the region for more than 25 years and is committed to staying there long term."

Photos on the aid agency's website show Christians receiving bags of food from Open Doors. These include rice, oil, chickpeas, sugar, tea, and eggs, among other staples and hygiene items.

Its greatest needs include 2,000 food kits and hygiene kits per month, trauma counseling for 10 families per week, and shelter for 100 new families per day. And with nine million refugees, the need for donations continues to grow.

Open Doors provides an option for people to donate in friends' or family members' names to make the donation a Christmas gift or to automatically repeat the donation each month.

This article was originally published in Christian Examiner. 

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