Knights of Columbus raise millions to assist Christians of Iraq
Father Douglas Bazi has suffered for his Christian faith in ways most Americans can’t fathom. A native of Iraq, the Chaldean Catholic priest has been shot at, kidnapped and tortured.
“One day, I believe they will kill me,” Father Bazi says.
Now, he’s working alongside the Knights of Columbus to raise awareness about the plight of Christians in his homeland.
During the month of September, the Knights sponsored a 60-second commercial to call attention to the ongoing struggle of Iraq’s Christians, driven from their ancestral homes by ISIS during the summer of 2014. About 100,000 have been living in refugee camps ever since.
Father Bazi is helping to lead the exiled Christian community and was featured in the commercial, asking viewers to “save my people.”
And while most people refer to the displaced Christians as refugees living in camps, Father Bazi prefers not to think in those terms. In the appeal, he refers to centers.
Mark Arabo, a San Diego businessman, is an advocate on behalf of the Christians of Iraq. Active in the Chaldean Catholic community, he’s traveled the country and has spoken at more than 100 churches and organizations, trying to get people to recognize the dire situation of Iraq’s beleaguered Christian community.
“It’s a genocide. People are being targeted and killed just because they’re Christians. It’s heartbreaking,” Arabo said.