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US priest rallies support for displaced Iraqi Christians

Posted on: December 19, 2016 3:58 PM
The Revd Christopher Bishop shows Iraqi children his video camera during his October 2016 visit to the Ashti Camp in Iraq.
Photo Credit: Stand With Iraqi Christians / ENS

[Episcopal News Service, by David Paulsen] The way the Revd Christopher Bishop tells it, it took just one pivotal conversation for him to feel a powerful calling to travel to northern Iraq as an unofficial Episcopal ambassador to displaced Christians, whose lives have been threatened by the rise of the group known as [Daesh]. Bishop likens his awakening to the crisis to the moment years earlier when he suddenly felt called to become an Episcopal priest. In each moment, his life and labours took a sharp turn onto a new spiritual path.

Bishop is now the driving force behind Stand With Iraqi Christians, which has grown over two years into an independent non-profit organisation with international partners and a growing slate of ministries. It began in late 2014 as an effort of his congregation, St Martin’s Episcopal Church in Radnor, Pennsylvania, in the US.

“We had no idea what we were doing, but we had this heart for it,” Bishop said, and members of the church still are actively involved in supporting the mission of Stand With Iraqi Christians.

So far, the organisation has supported efforts to help Iraqi Christians with housing, employment and youth counselling. And Bishop, who worked as a filmmaker before becoming a priest, has travelled to Iraq and shot footage for a short documentary that now is being used to raise awareness of the displaced Christians’ plight.

  • Read David Paulsen’s full report on the Episcopal News Service website.