We believe Mennonites are called to a ministry of human compassion and international peacebuilding in these perilous times. Anabaptists can now reach out to the people of Iran, who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 toll in Iran has been especially high, both because its government was slow to respond and because of strict sanctions the U.S. and Canadian governments have levied against Iran.
We are a group of Canadian and U.S. Mennonites, some with decades-long engagement with Iran. We are inviting caring people to send funds to assist the Iranian people in combating the COVID-19 crisis. In this time of their international isolation, it would mean much to Iranian friends if Mennonites were again to contribute to their aid. They understand that Mennonites believe in peace and seek to assist a neighbor in need, even a neighbor who our governments label as an enemy. Due to many other commitments, Mennonite Central Committee is not in a position to facilitate aid to Iran at this time.
Evanston (Ill.) Mennonite Church has established the “And Who Is My Neighbor Fund” to receive donations for COVID-19 relief for Iran. These funds will be sent to Iran through Moms Against Poverty (momsagainstpoverty.org), a California-based American nonprofit tax-exempt organization that has been working in Iran under the supervision of the Iranian Red Crescent Society since 2010. Over the years, Mennonites have had close ties with the IRCS. Moms Against Poverty will use 100 percent of our funds, with no deduction for administration or overhead, for COVID-19 assistance projects in Iran. The organization has a license from the U.S. government Office of Foreign Assets Control that allows it to legally operate in Iran under the sanctions regime.
We invite you to send checks, made out to “Evanston Mennonite Church,” and in the note line write “Luke 10:25-37.” Send to: Evanston Mennonite Church, PO Box 6397, Evanston, IL 60204-6397.
Signed by Bert Lobe, Kitchener, Ont.; Ed Martin, Akron, Pa.; Pat Hostetter Martin, Harrisonburg, Va.; Harry Huebner, Winnipeg, Man.; Doug Hostetter, Valley Cottage, N.Y
Have a comment on this story? Write to the editors. Include your full name, city and state. Selected comments will be edited for publication in print or online.