Aug. 31, 2021 Contact: Kevin Shinkle
Iraqi Christian Relief Council Founder Juliana Taimoorazy nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
The members of the board of directors of Iraqi Christian Relief Council (ICRC) are elated that founder and President Juliana Taimoorazy has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her fight to save the Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac nation, Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq from genocide.
"Juliana has boundless courage, energy, and compassion for the persecuted people of Iraq,” said the Rev. David Fischler, chairman of the board. “She has poured her heart and soul into relieving their suffering, helping them rebuild, and bringing their plight to the world's attention. Now, with the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, her work on behalf of the Middle East's religious minorities is more important than ever."
Since its founding in 2007, Iraqi Christian Relief Council has raised millions of dollars to help fund humanitarian programs that have brought bring food, water, shelter, educational opportunities and other necessities to Christians in Iraq and other countries in the region.
Taimoorazy has also been at the forefront in speaking out against persecution of Christian minorities by ISIS and other terrorist groups. She has been a delegate to the United Nations, testified before Congress and lobbied the British Parliament and the governments of several other European countries.
Earlier today, she joined Jewish leaders in urging President Joe Biden to maintain a military presence in Iraq to ensure protection of the remaining Iraqi Christians and Yazidis in light of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Taimoorazy was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Professor Geoffrey Khan of Cambridge University, Dr. Anahit Khosroeva, senior researcher at the Armenian National Academy of Sciences and Fareed Yacoob, Kurdistan Regional Government member of parliament and member of the Political Bureau of the Assyrian Democratic Movement.
“The plight of the Assyrians – a people relentlessly persecuted for centuries, and the victims of genocide twice in the last one hundred years – is one that the world has, with rare exceptions, chosen to ignore in favor of playing power politics in the Middle East,” Kahn said in a statement.
“Juliana Taimoorazy has shone a light where darkness reigned. She has brought hope where there was despair, she has engendered faith where there was distrust, and she has brought love where there was indifference.”
Khosroeva added: “She has been a loud and consistent spokeswoman for religious freedom and has stood fearlessly in opposition to religious hatred and anti-Semitism in the media, academy, business communities of four continents. Even amid the ruins, once again there is hope for the future in the Nineveh Plains of northern Iraq, and a large part of the reason is because of the work of Ms. Taimoorazy.”
Fareed Yacoob said: “Juliana Taimoorazy has worked tirelessly for humanity, especially after the invasion of ISIS of Nineveh Plain and Sinjar. She has worked courageously to meet the needs of countless people, including those who were in camps and those displaced elsewhere in such places as Jordan and Lebanon. She is an Assyrian woman who brought with her a message of hope, a message of love with utmost respect for all of humanity without any discrimination regardless where they are from.”
Twenty years ago, there were 1.5 million Iraqi Christians and 600,000 Yazidis in Iraq. Today, no more than 150,000 Christians and 400,000 Yazidis remain. In 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry determined that ISIS had committed genocide against the Yazidis and other minority groups in Iraq and Syria. In doing so, he condemned the killing and enslavement of Yazidi women girls and the executions of Christians “solely for their faith.” The U.S. House of Representatives also unanimously passed a resolution labeling these ISIS activities as genocide.
“I am deeply honored and grateful for this nomination because it recognizes the hard and sometimes painful work of the Iraq Christian Relief Council and its supporters, while calling renewed attention to the plight of the Assyrian Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq,” Taimoorazy said. “The world’s attention might be diverted at the moment, but their suffering continues.
“Without help, a day is coming when Assyrian Christians will no longer be welcome or even allowed to live in this holiest of lands, namely our own ancestral lands, and we must do everything we can to stop this from happening.”
Taimoorazy, an Iranian-born Assyrian Christian, arrived in the United States in 1990 after her family was granted asylum. In 2007, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago called upon her to raise awareness of the plight of Christians in Iraq, which led to her founding the Iraqi Christian Relief Council in that same year.
Since then, the organization has helped thousands of Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac Iraqis resettle in their homeland. ICRC has helped rebuild towns and villages with water and electricity, creating job opportunities for adults and educational opportunities for children, all the while supporting refugee families in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.
For more information about ICRC, please see www.iraqichristianrelief.org.
Mr. President, if the tragic situation in Afghanistan has taught us anything,
it is that we must do everything in our power to avoid the repetition
of such a humanitarian catastrophe.
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Our mission is to educate the people around the globe about Iraqi Christian persecution, ask for prayers, and raise funds to support their basic humanitarian needs and partake in rebuilding their lives.
Our Current Struggle:
The Christians of the Middle East have faced genocide and massacres in a systematic and organized manner for centuries. They have faced the Kurdish Muslim sword starting 1843, followed by the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks until the modern times, falling to the savagery of the Islamic State.
In this century alone, the Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriac nation, indigenous to Iraq not only lost control of their ancestral land, they have also lost over three-fourth of their pre-World War I population.
Today, they stand at a crossroad of history.
Some of the dangers of the Iraqi Christian persecution and it's people face:
They have suffered through kidnappings, beheadings, rape, plunder, total economic loss.
Isn’t time for them to be really heard and assisted in the most serious and expedient manner?
“Even at the point of death, we will not renounce Christ.”
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