Helping Christian Refugees In Greece
Established in Autumn 2015, the International Christian Consulate (ICC) has already made considerable impact among Christian refuges escaping persecution, as well as advocating on their behalf.
Since inception, the ICC has established a forward operating base in Athens from which it manages its growing network of safe houses providing refuge, safety and support for vulnerable Christian refugees. A new Christian refugee centre for 150 is also currently under construction while the ICC continues making representations in Europe and the UK Parliament, to solicit recognition for this pan-European issue: that Christian refugees are being widely targeted in Europe for their faith.
Using in-depth questionnaires, the ICC has discovered that 88% of all Christian refugees have experienced violence at the hands of extremist Islamists in their home countries, en-route to Europe and significantly, continue to do so in Europe’s refugee camps.
Working closely with partners on the ground including the Orthodox Church, the ICC seeks to provide both short and medium term solutions to assist this vulnerable minority group. Such solutions include safe housing, assistance in seeking relocation to Europe, or job creation schemes in Greece. Due to threats to life from Daesh/IS cells operating in UNHCR camps in Jordan and Syria, Christian refugees do not go to them for help, thus largely remain ‘unregistered’. Consequently, they do not receive aid due nor do they get included in UK & European quotas for taking refugees.
The ICC is a small but rapidly growing operation supported financially by both established organisations and private donors. It is a Charitable Limited Company with a Board of Directors and Council of Advisors.
Its Head of Mission and founder, Ms Yochana Darling, is supported by a multi-skilled team of volunteers and staff.