Press Release – April 7, 2022
For Immediate Release 

OPAC Completes mission to iraq

OPAC Co-Founders return from first mission to the war-torn Middle East 

(New York, NY) – The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) has concluded its first mission trip to the war-torn Middle East. Led by Pastor William Devlin, the renowned pastor and Founder of the non-profits Widows and Orphans and Redeem!, OPAC Co-Founders George Gigicos and Andrew Veniopoulos traveled to Iraq to witness first-hand the destruction and devastation caused by ISIS, Al-Qaeda and years of war.

Pastor Devlin stated, “I admire OPAC for their commitment to helping and supporting the Christian population of Iraq who have endured unspeakable atrocities. Having made over 15 trips to the region, this particular mission was the best and most productive, where we were able to spread the love of Jesus and see first-hand the destruction and the beginnings of the re-birth of the Christian population”.

The trio began the trip in Erbil, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq where they attended church services at the local Syriac Orthodox Church. They then traveled to Iraq proper and attended Mass at the Syriac Catholic Church in Qaraqosh; followed by visits to the former ISIS strongholds of Nimrud and Mosul, where they saw up-close the destruction caused by years of war and brutality.

At each location, OPAC was able to provide direct financial support from a generous gift provided by Robin and Michael Psaros. This support assisted OPAC in providing immediate assistance to Christian communities in each location. Michael Psaros stated, “The bravery of George and Andrew to venture so far from home and to such a conflicted place in the world for the purpose of assisting fellow Christians is something Robin and I wanted to support. We were pleased to provide assistance to the people of Iraq in need of medicine and food; and especially honored to assist in the re-building of ancient religious sites in the region”.

George Gigicos, Co-Founder and Chairman of OPAC commented, “With so much going on in the world, especially in Ukraine, we must also not forget the Christian populations in other places who are still suffering. 18 months ago, when we launched OPAC, our mission was simple; to promote, support, defend and champion Christian communities around the world in the face of persecution, exclusion and prejudice. This trip was consistent with our mission to listen to the unheard, give voice to the voiceless and manifest the righteous causes of Christian faithful everywhere. I’d like to thank Pastor Devin and the Psaros family for their assistance in making this trip possible.”

Andrew Veniopoulos, Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman of OPAC stated, “the main takeaway from this mission was that the destruction and persecution brought forth by ISIS onto the Christian population in Iraq is no different than Russia’s destruction and persecution of their brothers and sisters in Ukraine. The atrocities that both ISIS and Putin have brought forth are one and the same making Putin no different than ISIS”.

Gigicos added, “OPAC will always take a stand when it comes to the persecution of Christians and all people of conscience, whether it comes from external forces or sometimes, even from within.”


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