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Christian area of Aleppo hit by fighting...

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Christian area of Aleppo hit by fighting; churches make united relief effort

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Christian area of Aleppo hit by fighting; churches make united relief effort

Project(s): 00-1032

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria

We woke up with the horrible sounds of heavy bullets shooting in the streets around us, terrifying and intimidating all the neighbourhood people in their homes… Some snipers among them were able to reach a roof of a building and started shooting everywhere… Life is becoming unbearable if such an incident occurs again. It is most likely to be repeated and the worst to come. No one is able to protect us.

Barnabas Aid partner in Aleppo

The Church in Aleppo, Syria, is making a united effort to help beleaguered Christian residents as fighting rages between government and opposition forces for control of the key battleground city.

Barnabas is providing aid to Christians in Syria through local churches
Barnabas is providing aid to Christians in Syria through local churches

A Barnabas Aid partner in Aleppo told us on Tuesday that a predominantly Christian area was the site of a four-hour siege, which started at 5am with heavy gunfire. As clashes intensified, opposition fighters fled to a government school, terrifying local residents.

Scores of people have been killed in Aleppo, which has been beset by intense fighting for nearly three weeks. The northern city is home to a sizeable Christian population, who are preparing for the worst amid escalating violence.

Barnabas Aid is working with a committee comprising representatives from every Christian denomination in the city to coordinate relief efforts among the Christian community.

The committee is identifying church centres and halls that can be used for accommodating Christians who have been forced to flee their homes; details and contact information for these emergency shelters will be announced in churches across the city. They are organising packages of essentials comprising food and hygiene items to be available for those arriving at the centres. And they are also preparing for the event that Christians have to leave the city altogether, as has happened elsewhere in Syria, notably Homs and Qusayr.

Aleppo has become a key battleground in the Syrian conflict
Aleppo has become a key battleground in the Syrian conflict

In addition to helping Christians in Aleppo, Barnabas Aid is continuing to provide aid to Christians in other parts of Syria as well as those displaced in other countries. A joint assessment carried out by the United Nations and the Syrian government found that around 1.5 million people are in need of urgent and immediate food assistance over the next three to six months, especially in areas worst hit by the 17-month-long uprising.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said:

As Syria continues to be torn apart by civil war, it is heartening that the Christian community in Aleppo is bearing a united witness in its practical demonstration of the Lord's care for His people. Let us pray that this display of solidarity will make an impact on the warring factions, and that there may yet be a peaceful solution to this dreadful conflict.

Give Today

If you would like to help Christians affected by the crisis in Syria, please send a to the Middle East Fund to help Christians in Syria (project 00-1032) or a 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 to help Christians in Syria (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 to help Christians in Syria (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).

Please Pray:
  • Pray for the fighting in Aleppo to cease and for the pursuit of peace throughout Syria.
  • Give thanks for the unity of the churches in Aleppo, and pray that they will work together effectively to help Christians affected by the fighting. Pray that this will be a powerful witness to the love and peace of Christ.
  • Pray that food aid will quickly reach all of the 1.5 million people identified as needing urgent and immediate help.
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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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Daily prayer

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  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 9 hours ago

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

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