Papal Aid for Iraqi Assyrians

Pope Francis has made a personal donation to Iraqi Christians in Kurdistan who have fled oppression in Iraq.

A papal delegation, including two Italian bishops, spent April 1-4 in the city of Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, which houses tens of thousands of Christian Assyrian refugees who have fled their homeland in the north of Iraq,  vast swaths of which are controlled by Islamic State.

Along with the Pope’s undisclosed donation, the papal delegation visited schools set up to educate refugee Iraqi children, and brought along vestments to use in church services.

The plight of an Assyrian family who fled dictator Saddam Hussein in the 1990s is depicted in Kate Carty’s novel, Run Thomas Run, published by Escalator Press.