We invite you to send a letter to your Member of Parliament to advocate for faith-based organizations to be considered for allocation of humanitarian funds to qualified and trusted local faith actors in Iraq and Syria.
Over the years more than a million Christians have left Iraq. Open Doors estimates that of the 1.5 million Christians who lived in Iraq in 2003, only around 220,000 remain; a decrease of 87% within one generation. Various reports by Open Doors and other organizations have warned the Christian community in Iraq might become extinct if there is no intervention.
For this reason, Open Doors started the Hope for the Middle East Campaign in 2016, to restore hope to the Church in the Middle East. Perhaps you were among one of the 7,000 Canadians who signed the global Hope4ME petition a few years ago. The petition was presented before Canada’s House of Commons as well as at the United Nations.
65% of Iraqi churches have become Centres of Hope. Besides meeting emergency needs, these Centres have helped rebuilding houses destroyed by IS and initiated income-generating projects, allowing beneficiaries to return to their villages and recover their livelihoods.
The Centres of Hope, run by local faith actors, have been funded by supporters like you. Increased government support to these centres will enable the good work to continue. Increasingly, governments are seeing the benefits of localization – working with on-the-ground partners whose logistical access, capacity to influence and cultural knowledge are unparalleled.
Open Doors is calling on governments to be transparent as to where their localized funds are allocated and to work towards a minimum of 5% of localized funds going to local faith actors by 2022.