Knights of Columbus Raising $2 Million to Rebuild Iraqi Town and Return Christians to Their Homes

by MICHAEL W. CHAPMAN August 3, 2017

The Knights of Columbus announced this week that they are raising $2 million to help rebuild Karmedes, a largely Christian town on the Nineveh Plain in northern Iraq that was liberated from ISIS, and resettle the Christian and other religious minority families that were displaced from their homes there.

It costs about $2,000 to resettle one family, said the Knights of Columbus in a statement, so a thousand donations of $2,000 will reach the goal of $2 million. One hundred percent of the money raised will be used for the project.

The donation matches that of the Hungarian government, which recently provided $2 million to save the predominately Christian town of Teleskov. About 1,000 families have already been returned to their homes there.

"The terrorists desecrated churches and graves and looted and destroyed homes," said Knights CEO Carl Anderson during his annual report at the Knights of Columbus 135th annual convention. "Now we will ensure that hundreds of Christian families driven from their homes can return to these two locations [Karmedes and Teleskov] and help to ensure a pluralistic future for Iraq."

The rebuilding work begins this week and donations for the project are being disbursed immediately. Like the Hungarian government, the Knights of Columbus are working with the Archdiocese of Erbil to resettle the displaced families and get their homes rebuilt.

The Islamic State's persecution of Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities was declared "genocide" by the U.S. Congress and U.S. State Department in 2016. The United Nations also declared the persecution genocide.

Congress' resolution of March 14, 2016 lists many specific reasons for declaring ISIS's actions genocidal, and states "the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reaffirmed the genocide designation last week.

According to Open Doors USA, the Christian population in Iraq has fallen from 1.5 million in 2003 to an estimated 275,000 today. More than 1,000 Christians have been killed by ISIS and more than 3,500 Yazidis murdered.

An estimated 10,000 religious minorities have been captured/kidnapped by ISIS, with many of the women and girls used and sold as sex slaves

Donations for the Karamdes project can be made at or by calling 1-800-694-5713. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. The Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc. is recognized by the IRS as a charitable organization under section 501(c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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Michael writes for He has worked as a writer for The McLaughlin Group; associate editor of Consumers' Research magazine; associate editor of Human Events; editorial page editor of The Lima News; journalism fellow for The Phillips Foundation; editorial writer and national issues reporter for Investor's Business Daily; and editorial director of the Cato Institute. Michael graduated with Special Honors in English (B.A.) from the University of Chicago. He lives with his wife, Claire, and their five children in Virginia.

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