Approximately 750 Christians and other concerned citizens filed on to Parliament Hill to show support for the Iraqi Christians and other minorities who are being persecuted and slaughtered in Iraq. A community of 1.5 million Christians has been reduced to 120,000 by some estimates. The crowd heard from a wide variety of Christian and Muslim leaders, as well as politicians and ordinary Canadians. A number of speakers gave impassioned pleas and called on the government of Canada to continue to provide material and military support to alleviate the suffering of innocent men, women and children in Iraq. The rally gave a tangible sign of unity and solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters in the Faith. Some speakers challenged Muslims to do more to combat extremist elements in their Faith communities. At the rally, we heard that the Government of Canada announced that it has committed another $1M to humanitarian aid to the situation in Iraq, as well as military intelligence.
Some video and pictures of the event are recorded below.
Please visit our Events page to view more pictures and video of the speeches and music!
The organizing committee of the Rally thanks all who came out and donated to cover the costs of the event. After costs are covered, all donations collected at the event will be passed on to the charitable organizations charged with helping our brothers and sisters in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.
God Bless You All.
In solidarity with the Persecuted Christians,
The Organizing Committee
Above: Crowd assembling before speeches started.
Above: Front shot of the crowd, just before the steps.
Above: Iraqi Canadians were well represented.
Above: The Lebanese community was also well represented.
Above: Ottawa Businessman, Nick Shallal, on behalf of the Persecuted Christians of Iraq. He gave a rousing and impassioned plea for help.
Above: Fr. Fadi Atallah opening the rally in prayer.
Above: M.P. Paul Dewer just arrived from Iraq, encouraging the crowd to remain resolute in their support.
Above: Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, reading a statement by Rabbi Bulka
Above: Glenn Pereira of St. Maurice Parish in Ottawa, leading other musicians in Christian music and hymns.
Above: Picture from the steps. Estimates range from 1500-2000 people participated in the rally to offer their support and encourage our Canadian government to do more.
Above: The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, P.C., M.P. offering words of encouragement. The crowd was very appreciative of the Conservative Government’s efforts to date in Iraq.
Above: Rev. Dr. Bailey of Parkdale United Church called Christians to rise above the hatred and violence of our opponents, and gave a strong and impressive speech to the crowd assembled.
Above: Imam Zijad of the South Nepean Muslim Community also offered words of encouragement.
Above: Archbishop Terrence Prendergast offering a few words and reflections.
Above: Mr. Imad Zammar of the Cordova Centre, on behalf of Imam Mohamad Jebara
Above: More pictures of the crowd and participants.
Above: Fr. Niaz Toma, an Iraqi Canadian Chaldean Priest from Hamilton gave a sublime and emotional address to the rally participants.
Canadians to Rally for Persecuted Iraqi Christians & Other Minorities
Saturday September 6, 2014 (1 to 3 p.m.)
Between the Eternal Flame and the Centre Block
List Of Confirmed Speakers
• Music begins (St. Maurice Choir Band)
• signing of letters / petition
1:00 to 1:10 pm
• Carroll Rees & Keith Bell Co-chairs’ Opening Remarks
1:10 to 1:20
• O’Canada (C. Enright)
• Opening Prayer (Fr. Fadi Atallah, Syrian Christian Priest)
1:20 to 1:40
• Ottawa Restaurateur, Mr. Nick Shallal, on behalf of the persecuted
• Archbishop T. Prendergast (Ottawa Archdiocese) to speak and to read Rabbi Bulka’s Statement
1:40 to 1:45
1:45 to 2:10
• The Honourable Pierre Poilievre P.C., M.P. // Paul Dewer, M.P.
• Imam Zijad Delic, South Nepean Muslim Community
• Rev. Dr. Bailey, Parkdale United Church
2:10 to 2:15
2:15 to 2:35
• Carl Hetu, Catholic Near East Welfare Association
• Imam Mohamad Jebara – Cordova Centre (by his representative, Mr. Imad Zammar)
• Debbie Joduin, An Extraordinary Canadian, speaking on behalf of the ordinary Canadian
2:35 to 2:40
2:40 to 2:55
• Fr. Niaz Toma, Iraqi Canadian Chaldean Priest (day’s guest speaker)
2:55 to 3:00 p.m.
• Rev. Martin Malina …Evangelical Lutheran Church, Closing Prayer
• Closing remarks
Canadians to Rally for Persecuted Iraqi Christians & Other Minorities Saturday September 6, 2014 (1 to 3 p.m.)
For Immediate Release – September 2, 2014
When: Saturday, September 6th, 2014 ( 1:00pm – 3:00pm )
Where: Parliament Hill – Between the Eternal Flame and the Center Block
Why: To raise awareness of the plight of, and show our support for, Christians and other religious minorities experiencing inhumane persecution in Iraq at the hands of ISIS.
Rally Goals: To recognize the Canadian Government’s efforts to date in helping our unfortunate brothers and sisters in Iraq and to encourage it to do more by opening our doors wider to provide greater numbers with safe shelter.
To work more closely with the world community to see these daily barbarous atrocities permanently stopped.
And to give ordinary Canadians, like ourselves, an opportunity to come to the Hill to voice their concerns about this potential genocide.
In his August 7th statement, Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, describes in graphic detail the plight currently facing these minority communities in Iraq – “scenes of residents force to flee their homes, stripped of their possessions, right down to the crosses around their necks, while others are murdered, martyrs literally laying down their lives for their faith”.
Carroll Rees, a spokesperson for the organizers, had this to add, “We are a group of ordinary Canadians who felt helpless in the face of the atrocities occurring daily in Iraq and indeed throughout many parts of the Middle East. Our purpose in having this Rally was motivated by our belief that there are thousands of others just like us and we wanted to give them the opportunity to join with us to demand a stop to this barbarity. This is your chance to be heard; the Government, the Media, Canadians at Large and indeed the World are listening …please do not keep silent any longer”.
The Rally’s principal speaker will be Father Niaz Toma an Iraqi Chaldean Catholic priest who has deep ties with Iraqi Canadian Communities across the country. The event will also include other notable speakers such as the Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archbishop of Ottawa.
For more information, visit http://www.iraqchristians.com or contact Keith Bell at (613) 897-0316(613) 897-0316.