The Review of activities of Catholic largest organizations for helping Christians in the Middle East
Authors: Yaroslav V. Sovgira
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In 2017 in Syria and Iraq a number of cities with a previously significant Christian presence were liberated from the terrorists. We mean, first of all, Aleppo and Homs in Syria, as well as the cities on the Nineveh Plain in Iraq: Mosul, Qaraqosh, Karamlis, El-Qosh and others. In this regard, the issue of possible return of Christians in places, from where they had to flee, became very essential. This problem has a wide range of tasks: the restoration of churches, the support of refugees, educational and medical projects. After the meeting of the Roman Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in Havana in February 2016, one can see clear tendencies of the development of inter-church cooperation for the Christians of the Middle East. In spot of these events, it is important to consider the experience of Catholic charities in the Middle East region. This experience is relevant as in the light of the Orthodox-Catholic interaction, as well as in itself, because it
is barely studied in Russian science, and in the context of the Middle East problems it has not been studied at all. In this article, we will consider the features of the work of the leading structures associated with the Catholic Church: Caritas, Aid to the Church in need, the Community of Sant'Egidio and the Knights of Columbus. For example, in the Middle East, Caritas regulates the funding and aids coming through the Catholic Church. Branches of Caritas work with refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. Aid to the Church in need provides, in addition to restoration of churches, the extensive analysis for the support of Christians in the Middle East. The community of Sant'Egidio,
inspired by the experience of studying new martyrs by its founder A. Riccardi, is attracting the attention of the international community to the problem of persecution of Christians. Knights of Columbus, being very solid in their field in the United States, protect the interests of Christians before the American elites and collecting funds for certain humanitarian actions.