The effort was funded by private contributions averaging $100 per donor to Mercury One's Nazarene Fund. The fund, which was created in the summer of 2015, has now received in excess of $12 million in donations, and is focused on the legal evacuation and resettlement of displaced Christians from countries such as Iraq and Syria into new countries where they might rebuild their lives and preserve their ancient religion and culture.
"I am so grateful to the 130,000 individuals whose generous contributions made this journey possible, and I'm sure, if they could, the refugees would thank them too," said Glenn Beck, who flew to Iraq to meet with the refugees ahead of their escape.
"The Christian populations in Iraq and Syria have declined by more than 2 million people over only a few years. While the world watched in near total silence, their ancient churches and monasteries were destroyed, their children were sold on slave markets, their property was confiscated, and those who survived have faced extortion and continued threats of kidnapping and beheading. While we wish we had the resources to save everyone, I'm hopeful that this trip was a meaningful step in the right direction to help those who cannot help themselves."
The entire evacuation was executed in accordance with all international, legal standards and best practices. The logistics, security and vetting process for the evacuation was managed by Peregrine Consultants, which employed a vetting strategy that exceeded present international standards.
They conducted extensive interviews with potential evacuees, gathered their personal details and reviewed original documentation to confirm their identities and intent. Additional protocols—that for the time being must remain confidential to aid in future evacuations—were also employed.
The Slovakian government has chosen—in congruence with the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights—to provide special treatment to these members of Iraq's persecuted Christian minority. In order to not put an undue strain on the Slovakian government or its citizens, the Nazarene Fund has agreed to fund a three-year integration program, which includes language training, education, social services, accommodations, and any and everything else required to facilitate an efficient integration of these ancient Christians into Slovakian society. They will live in and around Nitra, the so-called cradle of Christianity in central Europe.
"Today's evacuation is the result of many months of careful planning involving a team of people, but none of this would have been possible without the generous support of thousands upon thousands of those who donated to Mercury One's Nazarene Fund," said Johnnie Moore, who assisted in the evacuation and whose advocacy led to the creation of the Nazarene Fund.
"For a year, I traveled around the world speaking up on behalf of persecuted Christians, but so few were willing to act. This wasn't the case with Glenn Beck and—more importantly—his audience. This evacuation is the first in a series of interventions we are making on behalf of ancient Christian communities in the Middle East, which are facing an ongoing genocide."
Of the evacuation's role in the present conflict with Islamic extremism in the Middle East, Beck noted, "Every act of love on behalf of those ISIS aims to kill is a dagger in the heart of these Islamic terrorists. We are just getting started."
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