MESSAGE FROM FATHER BEN KIELY, FOUNDER OF NASAREAN.ORG
I continue to be amazed at the generosity of so many kind and good people who care so much about their suffering brothers and sisters, especially in Iraq and Syria. Although Nasarean is a very small organization (with no employees and no salaries!) we are helped by volunteers who respond to your queries and send out your products. Also, as a 501c-3, we have a magnificent board who are working hard to help us move forward. We just finished one of the quarterly board meetings where we worked on our strategy for the next year. Our motto, and reason for existence, is to aid and advocate for the suffering and persecuted Christians of the Middle East.
Aiding the Christians initially meant that we donated all your generous offerings, after the cost of production, to one charity which feeds and shelters the Christians who fled Islamist terror and war. We will continue to support the wonderful work of Aid to the Church in Need, but are beginning to focus more on micro-financing small businesses to enable persecuted Christians to startup their own business, and therefore, to stay in place. So far, we are paying the salaries of 10 women who have created a sewing and knitting business in the ancient Christian town of Aradin (which means ‘Eden’ in Aramaic) in Northern Iraq. $3,000 pays their salaries for three months! We hope our ladies will have simple, rustic, hand-stitched tote bags available to purchase in time for Christmas.
In addition to paying salaries, it costs about $3,000 to create a ‘start-up’ business as well. Through the generosity of one donor to Nasarean.org, we will have news of three new businesses very soon! This is immensely practical support because, as the businesses become more profitable, we will be able to move our support to other new ventures thus breaking the culture of dependency. We also hope to support a training program for Nurses.
Advocating for the persecuted Christians is now the principle work of Father Ben. With the blessing of his bishop, Fr. Ben is attempting to devote his priesthood to this important ministry. He acts as a ‘voice for the voiceless’ by reminding communities of the ongoing struggles these Christians face as well as the long-term nature of their suffering.
To that end, Father Ben is involved in a number of groups (especially in Washington DC) who are working to help the persecuted. He also writes, speaks on the radio, appears on television, and communicates with different audiences about the plight of the persecuted and how ordinary people can help. Having visited Iraq multiple times (and soon to visit Syria) Father Ben is now being invited to speak on this issue in different countries around the world. Father Ben is currently doing this work without a salary.
As part of our ‘News & Updates’ section, we will try our best to keep up to date with his engagements.
We continue to thank all of our donors and supporters; especially those of you who are supporting us with a monthly donation! Father Ben offers Mass every week for your intentions, and in thanksgiving for your generosity. God bless you all!
Father Ben will be in Iraq in the next few days –if all is well and the air space is not closed!
11 – 13 October – Hungary – speaking at the World Summit, organized by the Government of Hungary, on the future of persecuted Christians.
20 – 22 October – New York – keynote speaker at the Annual Gala of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre – Eastern Lieutenancy.
3 – 5 November – Providence, RI – keynote speaker at the annual Investiture of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre – North Eastern Lieutenancy.
(Syria – dates to be decided)
December 5 – speaker at special Symposium in the Archdiocese of New York – with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, on the persecuted Church.