ASK WAR RELIEF FOR THE PERSIANS
Episcopal Bishops Issue Appeal for Funds for Native Christians.
THREE AMBULANCES SENT
Rockefeller Foundation Gives Another $100,000 for Armenian for Armenian Red Cross Work.
An appeal signed by some of America's most eminent clergymen has been issued in, behalf of the thousands of native Christians in Northwestern Persia and Kurdistan. These people have been reduced to destitution as a result of the war, and since the Russians gained control of the region in which they live it is now possible to get relief to them without very great delay.
This appeal is indorsed and signed by the following Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church : David H. Greer and Charles S. Burch of New York, Edwin S. Lines of Newark, James De W. Perry of Rhode Island, Frederick Burgess of Long Island, William Lawrence and Samuel Babcock of Massachusetts, Philip M. Rhinelander and Thomas J. Garland of Pennsylvania, William A. Leonard of Ohio, Richard H. Nelson of Albany, Paul Matthews of New Jersey, C. B. Brewster of Connecticut; Thomas. F. Davies of Western Massachusetts, and the Rev. Dr. William T. Manning, Rector of Trinity Parish, New York.
The appeal says:
For thirty years the Archbishop of Canterbury's Mission has been at work among the Assyrian (Syrian) Christians in north-western Persia and Kurdistan. These Nestorians, who have lived near the borders of Turkey and Persia for centuries, have been overwhelmed, since October, 1914, by the suffering of dwellers in a war zone.
The Assyrian Christians are divided into three groups, which have met fates varying with their geographical 1ocation. From those on the upper reaches of the Tigris, near Mosul, Turkey, very little has been heard, and the most recent news tells of the massacres of most of those living in the Bohtan region. The second group, inhabiting the plain of Urumia, Persia, has suffered tersely as the tides of war ebbed back and forth over the plain, and many have died through disease, starvation and massacre. The plight of the third main group, which under the leadership of the Assyrian patriarch Mar Shimun, fled with great difficulty to the Plain of Salmas in the Autumn of 1915, is even more desperate. In answer to an appeal of the Archbishop of Canterbury, published in The London Times of the 10th of November, 1915, some assistance has been sent from England. Through the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, with which the Persian War Relief Committee has merged, there has been sent since last November the sum of $115,110. Included in this amount are generous contributions from the Rockefeller Foundation.
It is now increasingly evident that previous efforts at relief have been inadequate. Last Autumn in Persia $10,000, sent by the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, kept 10,000 persons alive for a month, but this meant rations of bread and salt only.
The latest information from missionary sources and from Mr. Paul Shimmon, personal representative of the Assyrian Patriarch, shows that in spite of all that has been done, exposure, disease, and starvation have cost the lives of a large proportion of the refugees. Thus it is reported in March, 1916, from one locality, that "out of 3,200 refugees in this village 1,000 had already died and there were many who were ill."
Funds are needed at once for clothing and more and better food; also to assist the refugees to render their ruined homes habitable and to plant and harvest crops.
Contributions May be sent to Woodbury G. Langdon, Treasurer of the Assyrian Relief Fund, 3O East Fifty-ninth Street, or to Charles R. Crane, Treasurer of the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, 70 Fifth Avenue.