3 Iraqi refugee families arrive in Lithuania

Pabėgėliai iš Irako
DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

“They will be accommodated at our parishes. Several parishes of our diocese will take care of them,” Vilnius Archbishop Gintaras Grušas, president of the Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference, told journalist at Vilnius Airport on Friday.

The three families used to live in the Iraqi city of Erbil.

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The Iraqis will reside in the capital Vilnius and be taken care of by communities of parishes.

It is hoped that the Iraqis will stay in Lithuania permanently. The fourth family is scheduled to come to Lithuania in late summer as one of its members is now recovering after a car accident.

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Vilnius churches will collect donations to support the families, with residents asked to contribute money and meet with the refugees, spend free time with them or invite them to their homes, help them get to know Vilnius and introduce to the Lithuanian culture and traditions.

The Iraqis should study the Lithuanian language and learn about the country’s history.

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Christian communities, which are in minority in Iraq, are persecuted by armed groups as the Islamic State. The groups are responsible for brutal violations of human rights, conducting attacks against civilians, executions, massacres, abductions and rapes.

Some 40 persecuted Christians arrived in Lithuania from Syria in the winter of 2014, they were hosted by the Lithuanian Evangelical Lutheran Church.

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