Aim and Purpose of ICIN
Since the Iraq war of 2003 and the collapse of the Iraqi State, certain extremist elements have targeted the Christian Community. Killings and intimidation have driven them out of their homes and a large number have ended up displaced within Iraq or in neighbouring countries.
ICIN addresses the needs of these Iraqi Christians of all denominations and raises awareness of their plight in Western countries.
During 2014, ICIN’s objectives were widened to include other Christians of the Middle East.
Objective, Structure and Governance of ICIN
ICIN’s main objective is the relief of financial hardship, sickness and distress of Iraqi Christians living in Iraq and the neighbouring Middle Eastern countries. Financial aid is generally provided through local church hierarchies to cover the financial, medical and educational needs of those in need.
Since the Iraq war of 2003 and the collapse of the Iraqi State, the Christian community has been targeted by extremist elements. Killings and intimidation have driven Christians out of their homes and a large number were displaced within Iraq or in neighbouring countries. This intimidation and persecution of Christians has also engulfed most of the Middle East and in response to the increasing need of such displaced and needy Christians, the trustees decided to widen the scope of its objective in June 2014 to allow it to assist other Christians of the Middle East. The objectives of the charity are now “The relief of hardship, sickness and distress of Iraqi and other Middle Eastern Christians through financial, medical and educational aid”.
The charity operates under a Model Trust Deed (GD2) dated 30 April 2007 and the Charity Commissioner’s approval to register the charity name dated 31 May 2007. A chairman is elected annually and the trustees and Executive Council generally meet on a monthly basis to discuss the affairs of the charity and decisions are taken by a majority vote.
Christianity in Iraq
Christianity became rooted in Iraq from the first Christian centuries. The Christian community of Iraq has been an important part of the fabric of Iraqi society at all times. They made substantial contributions to the emergence of the Abbasid civilization that flourished on Iraqi soil as well as the building of modern Iraq. They have always been proud of their country in which they lived from ancient times and to which they are attached by bonds of history that go back to the Assyrians and the Babylonians.
The recent attacks on the Christians of Iraq, their churches and their religious leaders and the resulting displacement are heartbreaking. It is estimated that more than half of the Christian population has fled the country and a lot more displaced within the country to safer areas. UNHCR have reported that 44% of asylum seekers reaching Syria since their register started in 2003 are Christians, despite the fact that Christians form only 4% of the Iraqi population.
While neighbouring countries have been generous in receiving the displaced people, resources are limited and many are reduced to dependence on relatives who live in more prosperous countries. Those who do not have any such help need immediate support and it is those people that ICIN intends to reach for. As Christians we continue to pray asking our Benevolent Creator to protect his creation in Iraq both Christian and Muslim, and while we pray for all world leaders that they may be enlightened to take the right decisions in steering our beloved country to safety, we feel we want to make some contribution towards the sufferings of those displaced people who do not have the privilege of somebody to protect them.
It is the suffering of those vulnerable displaced people that our charity tries to address by giving financial help through our churches.