Epiphany Awarded $15,000
Epiphany Awarded $15,000 by the Sustainable Development Goals Fund of the Episcopal Diocese of
In late September, the Sustainable Development Goals Fund of the Episcopal Diocese of New York
awarded $15,000 to the Church of the Epiphany to help reestablish chicken farming in northern Iraq.
Epiphany is collaborating with St. George's Anglican Church, Baghdad, Stand with Iraqi Christians (SWIC)
in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, and International Christian Concern (ICC), an NGO, to participate in a
pilot project to redevelop this vital industry. A well-connected project manager employed jointly by St.
George's and ICC has been vetting and recruiting farmers for the past year.
Christians have lived on the Nineveh Plains in Northern Iraq for centuries. Those who remain there
today, in the historic Chaldean Catholic and Assyrian Church of East, are among the last Christians
speaking and worshiping in Aramaic—the language of Jesus. Christians have also been a crucial
component of Iraq's economy, developing a variety of agricultural sectors, particularly chicken farming.
Prior to ISIS, the city of Qaraqosh was home to up to 100 farms producing poultry.
The Iraq War and ISIS destroyed the area. Countless people were killed, and many more became
refugees. Today, with stability returning, former chicken farmers with the skills and the desire to rebuild
the poultry industry remain in the area. With sufficient funding, these men will help to create jobs, bring
economic growth and community development, and instill pride in a people long without hope.
Two chicken farms were started in April 2019, each with 3,000 chicks. Chicks are taken to market in 30-
50 days and Iraq possesses an infrastructure for processing and transporting the poultry. And the first
group of chickens was taken to market in June. Proceeds from the sale of these chickens enabled these
farms to become self-sustaining, using a portion of the market proceeds to purchase and care for the
next flock. All new funds raised, including the grant money awarded to Epiphany, is used to start new
This exciting project creates self-sustaining enterprises in a relatively short time. In addition to the
farmer and his family, economic benefit extends to approximately 134 other jobs, including farm day
laborers, veterinarians and staff, feed suppliers, including growers and sellers, hatchery workers,
processing workers (butchers) and transporters, and sellers of both live and processed chickens, all of
whom will benefit as the market expands. Importantly, the people of Iraq will benefit from improved
and lower cost food, along with the development of a more stable community in Christian Northern
In the Book of Jonah, God tells Jonah "to go to Nineveh, that great city." Now many years later, through
their long-term relationship with the Church of the Epiphany in Doha Qatar, Epiphany Manhattan has
been given an opportunity to live out its baptismal covenant in a new way. We see here the opportunity
to support Christians who have suffered mightily, but have not lost their faith in Jesus Christ. Rather
than flee, they seek to stay in their traditional communities of faith, to work to improve and serve their
neighbors of all faiths. As fellow Christians, we praise God for this opportunity to love and to serve our
brothers and sisters as Christ has loved us.
If you would like to contribute to this cause, please drop a check in the offering plate labeled “Iraq
Farming,” or pay through our website and choose “Chicken Farming in Iraq” from the drop-down menu.