Families Torn Apart

Dear Friends for Life,   While many of us live in the comfort of safety, our Yazidi brothers and sisters in Iraq continue to face starvation, lack of water, and threats to their safety. Fleeing from Mt. Sinjar, hundreds and thousands search for safety today in Iraq’s northern regions.

displacediraqiOn the one hand, our families gather together at home in the evenings for supper and some light laughter. On the other hand, Yazidi families become separated while trying to escape from armed soldiers. Children are torn from their parents, killed, kidnapped or have disappeared in the chaos.

On the weekend, we may go to visit our grandparents. In Iraq, many refugees leave behind their elderly who could not make the long journey to safety. Others who made it safely to the camps testify of being forced to leave young girls and women behind in order to sell them. Many young family men are killed in the violence.

At present, there are already over 1.2 million internally displaced in Iraq, including an estimated 700,000 in the Kurdistan region, which already hosts some 220,000 Syrian refugees. Many have suffered sun or heat stroke, with the daily temperatures reaching 40 to 45 degrees Celsius. No air-conditioners available.

The humanitarian situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate. Yazidi civilians arrive exhausted and deeply traumatized, their feet covered in blisters. They had to survive for days in searing temperatures without food, water or shelter after fleeing for their lives. They are extremely weak, thirsty, and hungry, especially women and children. Many have untreated wounds.

Yazidi families:  Iraq: The Long Journey to Safety.

campThe point is, what are we, as God’s people, doing for the Yazidi civilians who are also God’s people. Can we honestly say that we are sharing our wealth with these refugees who have nothing – no housing, no food, no water, no electricity, no television, no books, no refrigerators, no cars, no toys, none of those things we take for granted.

Do we let politians dictate our “Love for our Yazidi neighbors”? Do we allow militaries in our name to kill for peace? In the past half century, we have killed more people for various reasons than in the entire life spam of our entire planet. Can we truly say that we are safer today?

Sometimes I wonder if our refusal to share wealth with those – who have nothing – is the primary cause behind world violence? I wonder if today or tomorrow we could not share our wealth with the 1.2 million internally displaced people in Iraq? Why not?  God’s ways produce peace: “Love the Yazidi people as we love ourselves.” SIMPLE solution, NOT expensive and PRODUCES much better results.

God Bless
Jerry Novotny, OMI

 

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mary01(The Difference is LIFE)

O Mary Bright Dawn of the New World” – O Mary bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life: Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy. Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.

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Websites by Fr. Jerry

Recent Pro Life Newsletter + Archives

LifeIssues.net Website

Catholic Asia-Pacific Coalition on HIV/AIDS Website

Japan-lifeissues.net Website (in Japanese)

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