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Refugees
Many Iraqi Christian refugees have no place to go, and are forced to sleep on the street or in open patio areas with little protection from the elements.

The Islamic State (also known as ISIS), an extreme Sunni militant group, has rampaged across Iraq virtually unchecked for months, using barbaric tactics to purge towns of religious and ethnic minorities — though Christians are the primary target.

Within one 24-hour period, as many as 2,000 refugee families flooded into a town north of Baghdad. At least 800 families found nowhere except the streets to sleep.

Greg Mundis, AGWM executive director, says, "The need of our fellow believers in Iraq is desperate. We who have experienced God's unmerited favor have a responsibility to help Christians who are suffering there."

As Christians flee persecution, several AG churches in Iraq are helping care for them. One church is presently housing 200 refugees.

"The current situation in Iraq exemplifies the importance of having established churches in a country that can touch the poor and suffering firsthand, quickly and effectively," says Randy Hurst, AGWM communications director. "In spite of their own need, our Iraqi brothers and sisters began immediately reaching out to suffering Christians. They are doing all they can, but they need our help to do more. Through them, we can give aid to Christians in Iraq who are fleeing violent persecution."  

Relief
Help is needed to provide adequate relief supplies for the increasing number of Iraqi Christian refugees.

Across the Nineveh plains, an estimated 200,000 Iraqi Christians have fled their homes.

These churches need financial help to purchase food and other emergency supplies, since most of the refugees have nothing of their own. A blanket can be provided for $10, a hygiene kit for $20, and a week's worth of basic food items for a family of four for $60. 

Those who want to help can give online at giving.ag.org and clicking on the "Middle East Refugee Crisis" graphic. Checks should be mailed to AG World Missions, 1445 N. Boonville Ave., Springfield, MO 65802. Indicate "Middle East Refugee Crisis - AGWM Suffering Church Fund #649230-0 (28)" on the memo line of the check. Donations also can be made by calling toll free 1-866-470-9514. 

"Please pray for Christians who are being persecuted for their faith and for those who are reaching out to nonbelievers in the love of Christ," Mundis appeals. "Pray also that all compassionate efforts that are done will 'open a door for the message' (Colossians 4:3) in many lives."

For more information, including pictures of the relief efforts of AG churches in Iraq, click here.

 


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City hassles woman for feeding the needy

Mon, 07 Jan 2013 - 4:34 PM CST

Millie Ramirez
Ramirez

The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of an Arizona woman who has been cited for using her property to share free food with the hungry as a means of exercising her Christian beliefs.

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute intervened after an enforcement officer with the City of Glendale allegedly informed Millie Ramirez that she would be considered a criminal if she continued to use the driveway of her private residence to distribute free food. For seven years, Ramirez has collected donations from area grocers and made them available to needy families by setting up a temporary food bank in her driveway, which she puts up and takes down each day.

Glendale officials insist that Ramirez is violating the city code by storing materials outside her home, citing her charitable activities as being an "illegal home occupation," an "illegal land use," and as unlawfully lacking a "business license." The Rutherford Institute responded that such action violates Ramirez's 14th Amendment due process rights and warned the city about legal action.

The religious liberties organization says Ramirez has been subjected to repeated harassment by city officials, who have issued "compliance notices" stating that she is in violation of Glendale's storage ordinances.

Those provisions are expressly limited to indefinite storage of material goods, and don't apply to Ramirez' temporary use of items for the specific purpose of feeding the hungry, according to The Rutherford Institute.

Author: Pentecostal Evangel


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