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Free war ravaged lives from fear this Christian Aid Week

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This is a text-only version of an article first published on Monday, 14 April 2014. Information shown on this page may no longer be current.

BISHOPS are encouraging church goers to support Christian Aid Week (11 - 17 May) and help communities in war-ravaged countries rebuild their lives and be free from fear.

The Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Andrew Proud releases a dove as a sign of peace in the run up to Christian Aid Week.

The Rt Revd John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, was at Christ Church Cathedral with the city's Christian Aid team to pledge his support for the campaign.

Shortly after the Door went to press, the Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Andrew Proud was due to release two white doves as symbols of peace at Reading Minster, St Mary the Virgin. Bishop John said: "War tears people apart.

Peace pieces them back together.

Christian Aid Week enables 20,000 churches across the country to raise awareness of how many millions of people live daily in fear of violence.

It also allows us to give from our relative abundance to their often absolute poverty.

Let's do it. "Their support for Christian Aid Week came after Sarjon Toma, an aid worker from Iraq, visited the Diocese of Oxford to raise awareness of the work his organisation, REACH do.

Sarjon, whose wife and two children were back in Iraq, works with REACH, a Christian Aid partner, to help set up Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in rural areas where agriculture has been affected by a drought.

Aid worker Sarjon Toma raises awarness in High Wycombe.

He explained how when speaking with his family he speaks one of the Kurdish Christian languages but in Baghdad he would speak Arabic.

His work for REACH also involves helping Syrian refugees. "We start community groups and involve and empower women.

Women in Iraq have a big problem with suffering due to female genital mutilation. "After the drought in Iraq rural areas were affected with 70 per cent of the water table being very very low.

In villages the population often consists of 60 to 70 per cent women with no jobs so we start projects to provide water.

The Government have plans to provide drinking water through tankers.

In one village the majority of people had started to leave for the city.

We saw a small well and started to build a dam. " Sarjon showed a photograph of a small reservoir that now provides water for a greenhouse and for drinking.

"There is enough water for 30 families in a reservoir containing 450 square metres of water. "Christian Aid works with partners in many countries around the world who are dealing with the challenges of on-going conflict, or the legacy war leaves behind.

Places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria, which are regularly in the news, but also countries like Angola and Sierra Leone that are still re-building many years after the fighting has stopped.


Bishop John goes door-to-door at Oxford's Cathedral at Christ Church.


Page last updated: Monday 14th April 2014 12:00 AM
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