His Grace Bishop Irinej Rallies Orthodox Faithful on Behalf of Kosovo

Baltimore, MD (November 25, 2008) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), which since 1993 has provided more than $75 million in emergency relief and development programs to the former Yugoslavia, is currently hosting a special speaking tour featuring his Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand.

Bishop Irinej is rallying American Orthodox faithful on behalf of families living in the isolated enclaves of Kosovo. “I’m letting people know the daily reality for children in Kosovo is to go to school under armed escort,” said the Serbian American bishop who is originally from Ohio and was once an IOCC employee. “We must be that ray of hope for those children even in the simplest provision of school books and school kits,” he said.

IOCC fundraising events featuring Bishop Irinej were held recently in Minneapolis, Seattle, and Los Angeles for IOCC’s emergency and long term development projects, including Kosovo. More events featuring Bishop Irinej are scheduled for Steelton, Pennsylvania and Detroit, Michigan. IOCC announced recently that every gift made to Kosovo would be matched up to $100,000 through the generosity of Bishop Irinej and the faithful of his diocese and The John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation.

All gifts ear marked for Kosovo will go toward IOCC’s broader goal of providing $500,000 in assistance to Kosovo and for aid to some of the approximately 225,000 people who remain displaced from the region. IOCC aims to expand efforts to provide educational programs, sustainable agricultural training and other projects that provide employment and stimulate wider regional cooperation in Kosovo.

To help in providing assistance to families in Kosovo and the Balkans, visit www.iocc.org, call IOCC toll free at 1-877-803-4622, or mail a check or money order payable to “IOCC” and write “Kosovo” in the memo line to: IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.

IOCC, founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has implemented over $275 million in relief and development programs in 33 countries around the world.