Man who fled Daesh to speak at Scotland rally

A young man who escaped Iraq when Daesh (ISIS) invaded his home town is to address the Scottish Youth Rally at Carfin Grotto. The rally invites school children from across Scotland to come together in solidarity with those who are persecuted or oppressed for their religious faith. 

The keynote address will be given by 20-year-old Sarmad Ozan, who fled Mosul in northern Iraq after it was seized by Daesh in the summer of 2014, and now lives in the UK. The event takes place on Thursday, June 16, at 10am, organised by the Motherwell-based Scottish office of Aid to the Church in Need. 

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley and Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell will attend, representing the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. The event follows a similar rally held last year when 1,200 youngsters declared support for oppressed Christians in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan, where persecution has increased dramatically. 

Event organiser Lorraine McMahon, ACN’s head of operations in Scotland, said: “We are very fortunate in Scotland to live in a country where we can freely live out our faith. “However, Christians in areas with severe religious intolerance pay a heavy price for their faith including, physical torture, rape, imprisonment, slavery, discrimination in education and employment, and even death. 

“Come and join us to learn about the forgotten human rights issue of the day.” Registration for schools to attend has been extended until Monday, June 13, which can be done by visiting the ACN website.

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