Quad-City faith groups stand with the Kurds; invite public to vigil Sunday

Quad-City faith groups stand with the Kurds; invite public to vigil Sunday

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Rabbi Henry Karp is among Quad-City faith leaders organizing a prayer visit for 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Bettendorf, to show solidarity with the Kurdish people, following the pullout of American troops from their area.

A prayer vigil will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 2400 Middle Road, Bettendorf, to show solidarity with the Kurdish people who — after years of fighting alongside American troops to combat ISIS in the Middle East — have been left to fend for themselves in the recent pullout of American forces.

Representatives of the Catholic Diocese of Davenport, One Human Family QCA, Progressive Action for the Common Good and Quad-Cities Interfaith invite every concerned citizen to “A Prayer and Reflection Vigil: Standing with the Kurds in Crisis.”

By inviting members of the Quad-Cities community to come together in prayer and reflection, “we can show that we are standing with the Kurdish people who have become the victims of attempted genocide," Rabbi Henry Karp, co-founder of One Human Family, said.

"We call upon our government to honor its alliance with the Kurds, defend them in their time of need and demonstrate the humanitarian values which are the hallmarks of America," Karp said. "There is power in numbers, so we ask everyone to join us for this important vigil.”

The Kurds fought alongside American forces, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Kurdish soldiers.

In October, American forces were ordered out of the area of Syria that the jihadist organization once controlled, leaving the Kurdish people there alone to defend themselves against forces from neighboring Turkey whose government views them as terrorists.

The Kurds are faced with a massive humanitarian crisis and a battle for their very survival, Karp said. The Kurdish people are an ethnic group totaling millions of people who mainly inhabit a mountainous region along the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia.

The idea for a holding a community response to this crisis arose during a One Human Family members meeting last week.

“Wanting whatever we did to be a cooperative effort with the other Quad-Cities social justice organizations, we brought it to the Quad-Cities Interfaith Faith Leaders Caucus," Karp said.

"All felt that we needed to do a vigil and do it soon, considering how quickly events are taking place. A planning committee was formed with representatives of each of the sponsoring organizations and the vigil was set for this Sunday,” he said.

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