Published: 10:00 GMT Daylight Time - Friday 08 June 2012
Appealing on behalf of the Christians of Syria
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria
Barnabas provides over £600,000 to help Christian families
A Christian woman collects her food package from Barnabas Aid
As the Syrian government agrees to allow aid agencies into the areas worst affected by the conflict, Barnabas Aid is continuing to get help to many of the neediest Christians.
We have been working for many months directly through Christian partners on the ground to get aid to the Christians worst affected by the crisis.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have been able to send funds totalling over £220,000 to provide emergency aid; we are currently helping approximately 20,000 needy Christians in Syria, providing food, medicine, money for rent, and other essentials.
You can help by sponsoring a Christian family for just £18 a month.
Our regular support for Christians in Syria, especially refugees from Iraq, which has been established for many years, has continued throughout the conflict. Since the uprising started last March, we have provided over £400,000 to fund food packages for thousands of Christian families, plus other needs.
The UN estimates that there are one million people in need of assistance in Syria, and that the figure will probably increase after further assessments.
The Syrian government this week agreed to grant visas to staff from nine UN agencies and seven international NGOs, who will initially be based in four cities worst affected by the fighting: Homs, Deraa, Idlib and Deir al-Zour.
The beleaguered Christian community in Syria continues to suffer as a result of the conflict between President Assad's troops and anti-government forces. Christian buildings, including a church-run orphanage, have been damaged, and many Christians have been forced to flee their homes. Some are struggling to pay the rent or even to feed their children.
In particular need are the many thousands of families who have left the embattled city of Homs. One of our partners in Syria met a young Christian woman who moved to Damascus with her children and parents after her husband was kidnapped in January. They have no idea where he is.
This church-run orphanage was severely damaged in the violence
Despite a two-month-old nominal ceasefire, the violence is unrelenting, and the infiltration of jihadists, who have been wreaking havoc across the country, is making the country look more like Iraq by the day. Christians in Syria fear that their future may be the same as their Iraqi counterparts, who suffered such intense anti-Christian persecution following the fall of Saddam Hussein that hundreds of thousands of them were forced to leave their homeland.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said:
It is a significant and welcome development that Syria has agreed to allow humanitarian workers into the country, and I pray that they will be able to help many people whose lives have been torn apart by this conflict. We are very grateful that through the generosity of our supporters and the hard work of our contacts in Syria, we have been able to get aid to thousands of Christian families throughout the crisis. The need remains great, so please help us to continue this vital ministry.
If you would like to help Christians affected by the crisis in Syria, please send a one off donation to the Middle East Fund (project 00-1032). OR a regular donation of £18 a month using our secure server.
If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference Middle East Fund (project 00-1032).
If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference Middle East Fund (project 00-1032).
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/1032 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).
- Give thanks for the agreement that will allow aid agencies to enter Syria; pray that humanitarian workers will be granted access quickly and that their work will relieve the suffering of many.
- Pray for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria, and that the country’s future will be characterised by justice and righteousness.
- Pray for Barnabas Aid’s Christian partners in Syria as they work tirelessly to help our brothers and sisters; pray that the Lord will give them wisdom and strength as they distribute funds and resources.
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