Relatives and neighbours of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya chant pro-army slogans during a protest while carrying crosses in al-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo February 16, 2015. Thousands of traumatized mourners gathered on Monday at the Coptic church in al-Our village south of Cairo, struggling to come to terms with the fate of compatriots who paid a gruesome price for simply seeking work in Libya. Thirteen of 21 Egyptians beheaded by Islamic State came from the impoverished dirt lanes of al-Our, violence that prompted the Egyptian military to launch an air strike on Islamic State militant targets in Libya.  REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION CONFLICT MILITARY)
Relatives and neighbours of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya chant pro-army slogans during a protest while carrying crosses in al-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo February 16, 2015. Thousands of traumatized mourners gathered on Monday at the Coptic church in al-Our village south of Cairo, struggling to come to terms with the fate of compatriots who paid a gruesome price for simply seeking work in Libya. Thirteen of 21 Egyptians beheaded by Islamic State came from the impoverished dirt lanes of al-Our, violence that prompted the Egyptian military to launch an air strike on Islamic State militant targets in Libya. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

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.

SOURCE: Jewish News Service

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