Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Persecution of Christians and other non-Islamic faiths has reached appalling proportions in the Middle East. Many have died and many more are displaced, running for some place of refuge from the attacking extremists. The Middle East, the cradle of the faith for Christians, Jewish and Muslims, is not a place of co-existence but a broad and shifting war zone where various factions maneuver for dominance and power. Iraq, Syria and Gaza are now places where violence is directed at so many Christians and others who seek just to protect their children and survive. Life with peace and dignity is impossible.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has asked that all parishes consider a special collection on the weekend of September 6-7. The collection will be used by CRS and other Catholic agencies working in partnership with the local Church to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs facing the people in Iraq, Gaza, Syria and surrounding countries where refugees have fled.
Our Christian brothers and sisters and other innocent victims of the violence in the Middle East urgently need the assistance of the Catholic community of the United States. Thank you for your support of this special collection and for your continued prayers for the victims of this crisis.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. Martin Amos
Bishop of Davenport