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Calais: Bibles on way to refugees – after Muslim request

One hundred Bibles will be on their way to refugees in Calais ... following a request to a Birmingham vicar from a Muslim friend ...

One hundred Bibles will be on their way to refugees in Calais ... following a request to a Birmingham vicar from a Muslim friend ...

Father Oliver Coss set up a JustGiving page to raise £600 to send 50 copies of the Bible in English and 50 copies in Arabic to Calais tomorrow (Saturday 19 September) after receiving a request from a friend who works for the Birmingham office of the Bradford-based charity Human Relief Foundation.

Father Coss (pictured) writes on his donations page (which has since exceeded his target):

"It's not very often a Muslim friend Facebooks you and says 'Can you get me 100 copies of the Bible?' But that's exactly what happened, and here's why.

"A charity called the Human Relief Foundation has been collecting aid to send to refugees in the camps in Calais. The story of those fleeing violence, persecution, and the desolation visited by war has been all over our news, and we've been confronted with the stories of those who have left everything behind.

"As well as aid to provide for basic needs like nourishment and hygiene, HRF have been sending (requested) copies of the Koran to Muslim refugees, so that their spiritual needs won't go untended, and have asked for Bibles, so that Christians won't feel left out.

"Thanks to the backing of Bible publishers, we've gotten massive discounts on English and Arabic editions, but want to raise £600 from among Birmingham Christians to send 50 copies of the Bible in English and 50 copies in Arabic to the refugees at Calais. Thanks to the generosity of Birmingham churches, we've already secured another 50 English Bibles and some copies of the Bible in Farsi.

"Here's what the Bishop of Birmingham Rt Rev David Urquhart had to say: 'Seeing the considerable needs of refugees in the media can leave us feeling helpless, but there are lots of practical things we can do (see www.cofebirmingham.com/refugees). Through the purchase of these Bibles, we have the opportunity to provide essential spiritual nourishment to Christians at a time of great fear and uncertainty.”

"Please offer your donation today, so that spiritual needs among refugees won't be forgotten, and so that we can match the generous invitation of Brummie Muslims who have offered to carry our gifts to Christians in the camps at Calais."

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