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During Holy Week, We Begin A Series Discussing Christian Persecution In The Middle East, Highlighting Nasarean.org

During Holy Week, We Begin A Series Discussing Christian Persecution In The Middle East, Highlighting Nasarean.org
Fr. Ben with one of the brave Dominican Sisters in Erbil, Iraq
All photos taken by Fr. Ben Kiely

Nasarean Foundation is devoted to aiding Christian families in the Middle East, families persecuted and chased out of their homes by ISIS and other militant Islamic groups. Founded by Father Benedict Kiely in 2014, the Foundation’s work is twofold: 1. It provides advocacy for persecuted Christians by educating and informing audiences about the widespread assault on Christians by militant Islam; 2. it provides financial support to Christians in the Middle East enabling them to stay in their homelands, homelands that are the historical cradle of Christianity. 

During Holy Week, We Begin A Series Discussing Christian Persecution In The Middle East, Highlighting Nasarean.org
The noose in the “Bell Tower Church” in Mosul – ISIS hanged prisoners in the Church

For several years, Father Benedict was a parish priest leading a comfortable life in Stowe, Vermont. As ISIS rampaged across Iraq and Syria viciously destroying the villages and lives of anyone from a minority religion or anyone who refused to bend to their brutal radical Islamic command, Father felt compelled to act, compelled to step in and do something to help the persecuted.  He traveled to Iraq in 2014 and visited the Christian villages in the Ninevah Plains, a region particularly hard hit by ISIS. The Nineveh Plains are north east of Mosul, Iraq and are the heart of what once was Mesopotamian civilization.  Nineveh is an area mainly inhabited by non-Muslim minority groups; many of them are Assyrian and Chaldean Christians.  Upon visiting these villages, Father found desecrated and vandalized Churches and graveyards and ravaged homes; homes that were not destroyed were commonly rigged with IEDs to ensure a bitter end to returning families. He heard stories of medieval style atrocities from the local leaders and clergy members and from Christian families in refugee camps in Kurdistan.  Upon returning to the US, Father resigned from his post in Vermont and decided to dedicate his life to helping and advocating for these Christian families.  Thus, Nasrean was born.  

During Holy Week, We Begin A Series Discussing Christian Persecution In The Middle East, Highlighting Nasarean.org
Some of the destruction in Old City of Mosul

While its mandate is the broader Middle East, Nasarean, since inception, has been focused on Iraq. While the fighting has subsided, a new fight to rebuild Christian villages and rejuvenate these villages has only yet begun. Nasarean supports and encourages mini micro-financing to Iraqi Christian families; this makes Nasarean unique as almost no other charities are working on job creation, which is the only way families can remain in their newly reclaimed homelands.  Most recently, Nasarean has helped families, who have re-settled in the village of Aradin, in Northern Iraq; Nasarean’s micro finance loans have enabled these families to set up a women’s sewing business, establish a small chicken breeding farm, open an automotive garage, expand a taxi business and launch a new electrical repair shop.  While these are small enterprises, these are family businesses and critical to the vitality and the economies of the local villages.  

During Holy Week, We Begin A Series Discussing Christian Persecution In The Middle East, Highlighting Nasarean.org
ISIS inscription outside a Church – says “property of the Islamic State” (note the Arabic N or “Nun” – the sign for being a Christian and used and popularised by Nasarean.org

Nasarean is an US based and registered 501-c-3 charitable organization. It held its first major fundraiser in New York City in February 2019; the monies raised that evening were instrumental to launching some of the aforementioned businesses as well as to funding a Christian run local health clinic. The New York event was an opportunity not only to raise money but also to raise awareness, something equally as important as capital.  Not enough Christian churches across America and Europe are talking about the plight of their fellow Christians in the larger Middle East; this is something Nasarean is determined to change.  

www.nasarean.org

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4 comments

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D3F1ANT April 16, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Christian persecution in the Middle East!? How about taking a long hard look at Europe? LOL! Let the Muslims HAVE the Middle East–it’s theirs anyway! If you want to stem the tide of Muslim hate and Christian persecution, look at FRANCE! Look at GERMANY! Look at SWEDEN! For heaven sake…the Civilized World needs to start watching out for itself. Let the Third World wallow in the squalor they’ve built. We’ve got bigger fish to fry on the homefront of civilization…Europe and North America. Unless we want the WHOLE WORLD to look like Kandahar…we’d better circle the wagons and stand up for what’s right.

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CDMediaNetwork April 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm

Just one comment…Christianity started in the Middle East…have good day

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Philly April 16, 2019 at 3:28 pm

Christians in every country are under attack by Muslims. The Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussain and Assad of Syria all protected religious freedom in their countries. The US ran them all out of power and this led to mass killing of religious minorities including Christians. The US supports the government of Egypt where Coptic Christians are being killed daily. What is going on?

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Walkin O'Shea April 16, 2019 at 4:13 pm

Where is the Pope in this dialogue? Hidden behind his walls so that reality does not touch him. From time to time he offers poor counselling to his flock…open your doors to illegal aliens…be kind to your muslim brethren…take down border walls, open your heart to every Tom, Dick and Harry etc. etc. etc. Where is his support for embattled Christians who are fighting a very real and bloody war against muslims, satanist, LGBTQ+, the secular left, and any other group that has a bone to pick with Christians. It’s time for real action not just lip-service.

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