OTTAWA — “Christians can’t survive without you,” a campaign launched by CNEWA Canada in May 2018 to support Christians in the Middle East, has yielded $1.2 million, exceeding expectations, and will be extended through 2019.
“At CNEWA, we believe that Middle East Christians have the right to remain in their ancestral homelands and live out their faith in freedom and respect,” says Carl Hétu, national director for CNEWA Canada. “I invite Canadians to continue their support of CNEWA’s efforts to ensure Christians can fully and actively participate in a society that is theirs.”
Funds gathered through this campaign are being directed toward projects in essential healthcare services, emergency relief, centres for vulnerable children, training for seminarians and basic religious education.
A special feature of the 2018 campaign included a benefit dinner organized in partnership with the Archdiocese of Toronto that focused on the Christians of Iraq. Since the first U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 1991, the nation’s Christian population has plummeted to 250,000, down from 1.5 million, crippling this ancient and vibrant community that once figured so prominently in Iraqi society over the centuries.
The November event — which drew more than 300 participants, including Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, Bishop Bawai Soro of the Chaldean Eparchy of Mar Addai and members of the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches — raised nearly $16,000 and generated much enthusiasm.
“This annual event is enriching and inspiring in many ways,” Cardinal Thomas Collins said. “Not only are we gathering funds to help those in need, but we’re taking time to break bread as one family, rich in its diversity and our universality, and learn about the church in the Middle East.”
CNEWA Canada raised more than $4 million in 2018, of which 49 percent was directed to projects and programs in the Middle East.
Founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, CNEWA accompanies the historic Eastern Catholic churches as they respond to the Gospel in service to their families, communities and neighbours.
CNEWA established a national office in Canada in 2005 and, thanks to its donors, has supported the initiaves of these churches throughout the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe — offering financial support and loving solidarity with and for all.
For more information visit: cnewa.org/ca.
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