December 2015 Part 1 – in recognition of the season – is given over to positive developments, of which there have been a number recently.
Perhaps the most encouraging development is that various Western Gov’ts are finally beginning to realise the scale of the global persecution and are looking for ways to assist the NGOs and Churches who have hitherto been the sole support for the victims.
Other positive news – 60 Assyrian Christians have been released by Daesh (but over 200 remain in captivity). This newsletter contains a leading article on the history and prospects of the Assyrians which is well informed in respect of a very complex political and ideological situation.
December 2015 Part 2 – There are positive developments, too, with regard to important calls in the UK and USA for Genocide in the ME to be recognised, and new efforts to assist the IDPs in Iraq – but it is a fact that very large numbers of refugees in the Middle East are now living in poverty, unallowed or unable to work, and at a time also when UNHCR and World Food programme funds have fallen dramatically. Winter is upon them yet again. Your donations to the NGOs and Churches who are looking after them will be much appreciated.
Also – various countries – notably Australia, Canada, Slovakia, Poland and Czech Republic – have begun to resettle Christian IDPs and Refugees left behind in the region – especially those who are too elderly, young, frail, sick or poor to travel and risk the hazards of migration to Europe.
There are positive signs that the UK Gov’t is now willing to consider the resettling of refugees outside of the UNHCR camps (which are void of Christians because of continuing persecution in the camps) and willing now to dialogue and work with the Christian NGOs and Churches who have hitherto carried the entire burden for their support. It is hoped that the UK will soon introduce a Private Sponsorship Scheme to resettle refugees over and above the 20,000 allocation – but it remains unclear how they will be selected and whether sponsors will be able to choose whom they take.
December 2015 Part 3 – Nonetheless, the persecution of Christians globally continues to grow. Brunei and now Somalia have ‘banned Christmas’ and there are further disturbing developments and atrocities in Nigeria and Pakistan – both of them Commonwealth countries ! 1 million children are now without schooling in Nigeria where Boko Haram have killed 600 teachers!
The newsletter ends with a list of the NGOs who are doing heroic work, almost completely ignored by the mainstream media, but who could badly do with your support.
The newsletter for the National Caucus for the Persecuted Church is a deliberately loose umbrella-affiliation which is aimed at providing a forum for learning, discussion, and action on behalf of all those who are invested in helping persecuted Christians. This is not in
any way to diminish or set aside the claims of other religious and minority groups and, indeed, many of our supporters work extremely hard on behalf of non-Christian peoples. However, the absence of mainstream media, political, or International Aid focus on Christians necessitates that there must be some opportunity to hear what will otherwise remain ‘The greatest story never told’.
Please forward this to any friends and contacts whom you think would be interested and willing or able to help or use the material for presentations etc. And please support the specific appeals and various agencies (see bottom) in the newsletter.
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November 2015 examples of the sterling work being done by just some of the NGOs working in the region, multi-faith schools, abductees released, people getting to safety etc. There are virtually no Christians in UNHCR camps – because they fear attack and reprisals. Because of their absence many Western Gov’ts have little or no idea of the numbers and whereabouts – or the conditions that the Christian IDPs and Refugees are living in. Some groups such as in southern Turkey, Lebanon and Syria are completely off the radar of Western politicians (and the media). Further evidence to support the naming of Genocide is also presented here but there is political resistance – because politicians would have to name the aggressors, because the UN would have to do something to help the minorities if Genocide was declared, and because there is no enthusiasm for opening the doors to more refugees. In this combined political and media climate of denial there is a real danger that the Christians and other minorities will continue to be thrown to the wall, their prognosis and life expectancy in some areas remaining truly dire.
October 2015 National Caucus newsletter focuses on (1) the continuing atrocities in Syria and elsewhere, (2) the continuing indifference, unwillingness or impotence of the West including the UN, (3) the case for Genocide, (4) deteriorating conditions within the camps and IDP placements, and (5) emerging persecution within the European migrant population. Finally, and on behalf of Lord David Alton, please find attached several links to things each of us can do to move the political recognition process forward (“Stop killing Christians”).
September 2015 the migrant/refugee crisis dominates but we have sought not to let attention slip off other equally needy groups and countries and this newsletter contains a number of appeals on behalf of various NGOs. The nature of the migrant crisis is still emerging and it seems that no-one yet has a robust solution but misinformation does not help and this newsletter contains some latest analyses by those at the front line.
August 2015 Life in the Refugee Camps – what more needs to be done in terms of Aid, political lobbying, and asylum – the collapse of UN funding which makes their plight even worse – and the adverse impact all this is likely to have on those in the camps and on the host countries
July 2015 contains fairly full coverage of two important House of Lords Debates – on the Displacement of Refugees and Migrants, and on Freedom of Religion and Belief, both of which are of a high order and set the background to much of what has been reported month by month over the last few years. The first of these debates refers to matters which are likely to eclipse other political considerations in the near future and it makes for disturbing reading.
June 2015 and the HART Report were sent to all member of the Upper House prior to the debate in the Lords on the Persecution of Christians on July 16th 2015, which was televised on BBC Democracy live.