“The jihadists are acting in the name of religion. Everything that does not conform to their own ideology suffers as a result.”
For the first time Ukraine and Bosnia Herzegovina also joined the initiative: the Greek Catholic Cathedral of the Resurrection in Kiev and the cathedral in Sarajevo were lit up in red.
“We were not allowed to bathe throughout our captivity. We had to urinate and defecate in the hut. We were smelling like dead bodies and the hut smelled like a mortuary.”
The number of incidents involving girls and women being taken from their families, raped and forced to change their faith has grown over the last few years.
“We have not done anything wrong or illegal, yet in full public view we were forcefully taken to police station. It is quite shocking, and we never imagined such a situation in our lives.”
Christian and Hindu girls are particularly vulnerable, as they are targeted to be forcibly converted to Islam and have far less social and legal backing.
Some of the funding will go directly to Orthodox Churches such as the Greek Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox, as well as the Armenian Apostolic Church, all of them in Aleppo, Syria.