We are thankful to God for helping Open Doors Canada Executive Director Gary Stagg present the Hope for Middle East petition to MP David Anderson who went on to present it to the House of Commons on Dec 11th. The situation of displaced Christians and minorities was highlighted before the Government of Canada. We value your prayers that people in leadership and authority will be able to help bring about a change and respond to the calls of the petition for equality, dignity and a role in reconciliation for Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria.
An Open Doors delegation – led by 12-year-old Noeh from Karamles, Iraq – has presented the Hope for the Middle East petition to the UN in New York. Noeh was accompanied by his father Hathem, Father Behnam Lallo, a priest from northern Iraq, and a team from Open Doors.
The petition has been signed by more than 800,000 people in 143 countries. It calls for equality, dignity and a role in reconciliation for Chrisitians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria.
”We all hope to have our full rights in Iraq… This is the most important thing we need to continue staying in Iraq,” said Father Behnam Lallo, a priest from northern Iraq, who is also part of the delegation. “The material things are really important. But to continue staying, to continue existing, we need to gain our full rights as real citizens of Iraq.”
“I feel genuinely convinced that we have found favour here – thanks be to God – and that the cause of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East ill be heard,” said Zoe Smith, head of Advocacy for Open Doors UK and Ireland.
The Syrian and Iraqi populations are facing immense suffering because of years of war and violent unrest. We believe that in Syria and Iraq the lives, livelihoods and freedoms of all people should be protected and guaranteed. This includes the Christians.
"I want my fellow citizens to know that we are not strangers to Iraq. Our ancestors built this country. Consider me as a sister, not as a stranger."
- AN IRAQI CHRISTIAN