Coptic Church

St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. Egypt’s Coptic Christians are among the persecuted Christian communities in the Middle East.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) has launched a fundraising initiative to aid Christians and other persecuted minorities in the Middle East who have been targeted by Islamic terrorists.

The campaign, called “Bless the Persecuted,” began last week with an initial $100,000 pledge. The initiative seeks to fund financial and medical aid, psychological counseling, and programs for families and children who have been victims of terror and other forms of religious persecution.

“These cowardly acts betray a hatred of a people for no other reason than their faith,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship’s founder and president. “Just as we continue to combat anti-Semitism, so we must fight this growing persecution against Christians throughout the Middle East. We cannot stand idly by. An attack on one of us is an attack on all — and we are committed to stand with those who have been targeted.”

The campaign comes amid widespread attacks by Islamic terrorists against Christians and other minorities in the Middle East, especially in Egypt, Syria and Iraq. Within Egypt, where Christians comprise nearly 10 percent of the population, more than 200,000 Christians have fled in recent years, while Iraq’s Christian population has declined from an estimated 1.4 million in 2003 to only 275,000 today.

For Egypt’s beleaguered Coptic Christian community, The Fellowship is providing assistance such as summer camps for children and financial aid to families who are victims of terror; aid for basic needs, including food as well as medical and psychological care; and security support.

Since 2013, The Fellowship has provided more than $700,000 in aid to persecuted Mideast minorities. JN

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