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LDS Church chipping in to help Iraq’s fleeing Christians

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Displaced Iraqi Christians settle at St. Joseph Church in Irbil, northern Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. Late Wednesday, militants overran a cluster of predominantly Christian villages alongside the country's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, sending tens of thousands of civilians and Kurdish fighters fleeing from the area, several priests in northern Iraq said Thursday. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

The LDS Church this week authorized $100,000 in goods to be sent to northern Iraq to aid Christians escaping the military assault of the radical Islamic State group, a church official said Friday.

The funds will be used to “buy oil, beans, rice and bedding, “ Sharon Eubank, director of LDS Charities, told hundreds of Mormon apologists meeting at the 16th annual FairMormon Conference in Provo.

Eubank received a call from an LDS missionary couple, Walt and Peggy Plumb, who are doing humanitarian work in Kurdistan. The Salt Lake City couple reported seeing 5,000 refugees arriving at a nearby Christian church with few belongings.

The Utah-based faith has contributed a similar amount to needy residents in Gaza, Eubank said. “The challenge is finding people or organizations who can deliver the aid.”

Peggy Fletcher Stack

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