With every new act of terrorism and jihad we hear about on the news, it’s easy to become callous to the horrors that are happening, especially when they’re not close to home. For example, the recent bombing at the Paris newspaper Charlie Hebdo has prompted much attention and outcry—as it should. But it sometimes seems that bombings which kill even more people in Pakistan, Iraq, and other places in the Middle East tend to get only a passing mention on the news. This is understandable, because the frequency with which these bombings happen makes it necessary for us to go on and talk about other things too. But let’s not allow ourselves, from our position of relative safety, to forget about all the victims of jihadists and terrorists in the Middle East who live and die in constant fear. Let’s continually renew our compassion for the victims of religious fundamentalism.
There are things we can do to help, such as giving financial support to relief and development organizations working in the Middle East. Even a little bit can go a long way. Along with crisis relief, important causes to support in the Middle East include economic development, community resources, and education, because it is only through the positive influence of these forces—especially education—that any society is ultimately freed from the constraints of primitive religion.
One relief organization you can donate to is ANERA, American Near East Refugee Aid, which “advances the well-being of people in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan. Through partnerships and close consultation with local groups and communities, ANERA responds to economic, health and educational needs with sustainable solutions and also delivers humanitarian aid during emergencies.” Donate today!