Chaldean Archdiocese of Erbil

The Archdiocese of Erbil is a diocese of the Chaldean Catholic Church led by His Excellency, Archbishop Bashar Warda, CSsR. The see of the archbishop is the Cathedral of St. Joseph (Mar Yousif) in Ankawa, a suburb of Erbil. The language of the Church and community is Modern Aramaic, descended from the language of Jesus.


Arabic Website:

Our Ministry for those in Crisis

We Christians of Iraq have practiced our faith here for 2000 years. But, nearly one and a half million strong just over a decade ago, we are now reduced to less than 300,000.  Fleeing the genocide by ISIS, our people mostly took shelter in the ancient city of Erbil, now capital of Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Today we still have over 10,000 IDP (internally displaced person) families just in Erbil. With international help, we try to provide dignified housing, help for body and soul, and hope for the future.

  1. Providing housing

Housing and shelter remain a critical need as we strive to keep hope alive among the IDPs in our care. These people are often living in multiple families for a single room. The program currently assists over 6,500 families in over 3,000 houses throughout the Kurdistan Region.

  1. Building clinics and providing healthcare

With help from generous donors, we have built eight clinics. The St. Joseph’s clinic provides chronic care treatment and medicine to over 3,000 IDP patients per month. The clinic offers services without charge, dispensing $40,000 in prescription medicines per month.

  1. Educating schoolchildren and adults

One of the biggest fears of the IDP parents is that their children are losing critical years of their lives. To address this we have opened several new schools to serve IDP children, and for adults the Catholic University in Erbil is offering language and skills courses.

  1. Food Aid

A Food Package program was established in which families would receive a monthly supply of food staple items such as cooking oil, rice, grains, meat and vegetables. The cost of this food package has held steady at $60 per month per family. Over the period a total of over 150,000 food packages have been distributed to Christian IDP families.

  1. Addressing Traumatic Stress

In the violence of War, the civilian population is always scarred emotionally not just physically. So, we have established care centers for traumatic stress, which provide trained counseling free of charge to thousands of patients, and focus especially on the needs of women and children.

  1. Employment

The war against ISIS has crippled the economy in the Kurdistan Region. IDP families, most of which arrived with no money at all, have been unable to find jobs. But all of these activities just discussed (construction of housing, developing healthcare, establishing new schools) create quality jobs which we can then use to provide employment to the IDP population.

We are grateful to the very generous donors who have contributed millions and millions of dollars and euros to our support over the past few years. Major benefactors include:

  • Aid to the Church in Need
  • Italian Episcopal Conference
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Nazarene Fund
  • Caritas Italy
  • Missio (Aachen)
  • Rottenburg-Stuttgart Diocese
  • CNEWA Pontifical Mission
  • Fondazione PIME (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions)
  • Katholische Zentralstelle für Entwicklungshilfe e.V.
  • Custodia del Sacro Convento di Assisi
  • Misereor
  • Iraqi Christians in Need
  • St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church (USA)
  • Oeuvre d’Orient
  • Australian Bishops Conference
  • Chaldean Diocese in Cairo
  • We pray each day for all our donors, who are a sign to us of God’s mercy.

What is our future?We pray that this evil that we call ISIS will soon be driven from our ancient Christian lands. But what will become of things after that? Will our people be able to safely return and live in peace? Will they have homes to return to?We work not only to support the last remaining Christians in Iraq, but also to stop the flight of refugees from Iraq. Assisting the Christian community still living in Iraq will be part of the solution for a peaceful Iraq.

If you wish to help, please contact us at