A leading humanitarian organization has launched a fundraising initiative to raise over $2 million to help the Archdiocese of Erbil rebuild an Iraqi Christian town decimated by the Islamic State so that the town’s displaced citizens can finally return home in what has been described as a “now-or-never situation.”
The Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, announced that it will raise and donate $2 million to help the archdiocese, which houses the largest population of Christian refugees in Iraq, to restore the town of Karamdes, also known as Karamlash.
“In talking with the folks in Iraq, the next 60 days are critical that if we don’t start moving people home, they are going to start leaving the country for good,” Andrew Walther, the Knights of Columbus vice president of communications and strategic planning, told The Christian Post. “With the Christian population having fallen from 1.5 million to somewhere in the neighborhood, maybe a little south of 200,000, it’s a now-or-never situation.”
Karamdes, which lies about 18 miles southeast of Mosul, was once home to hundreds of Christian families. But when the Islamic State took over large swaths of territory in Mosul and the Nineveh region in the summer of 2014, many of the town’s Christians — like religious minorities in other Iraqi towns — faced the choice of fleeing their homes or being killed for their faith.
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