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Christian family’s plight highlights hum...

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Christian family’s plight highlights human cost of Syria conflict

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Christian family’s plight highlights human cost of Syria conflict

Project(s): 00-1032

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria

Driven from their home by armed opposition fighters who threatened to kill them, suffering great financial hardship after losing their income, a daughter recovering from a gunshot wound: the plight of this one Christian family highlights the human cost of the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Collecting_aid_4X3.jpg
Barnabas Aid is providing
food and other essentials to
needy Christians in Syria

The story of this family of five from Homs is all too typical of what has happened to the Christian community during the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Their home is now occupied by opposition fighters, who have either looted or destroyed most of their furniture, forcing them to rent an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment in a Christian village in the suburbs of Homs.

They are struggling to make ends meet: the father lost his job in Homs and went to Damascus for work but after two months was laid off again; the mother ran a small ladies’ accessories shop in Homs but had to leave this behind when the family was driven out of the city; their oldest daughter works two days a week, travelling to an office in Tartus, but her wages do not even cover her transport costs.

The youngest daughter is a student, but her education has been curtailed because none of the colleges in Homs is still functioning.

The middle daughter is recovering after being shot in the arm by the opposition fighters; the wound is expected to leave a major scar.

Barnabas Fund is helping Christian families like this one, whose lives have been destroyed by the conflict in Syria, with food parcels, medicine, money for rent, and other essentials.

You can help by sponsoring a Christian family for just £18 a month.

Contempt for Christians

Syrian-ransacked-church_4X3.jpg
An opposition fighter
mocks Christians in a sinister pose

Barnabas Fund was sent a photograph, taken in Homs, by a contact in Syria that reveals the contempt for Christians among the opposition forces. It shows a member of the Free Syrian Army mocking Christians by posing in a stolen clerical garment, holding a looted cross in one hand and a gun in the other; the fighter is standing in front of a church funeral car in a scene suggestive of a visual death threat. The fighters destroyed the church and went in to film the wreckage.

Barnabas Fund has received numerous reports of Christians being wounded and killed, and churches being ransacked and destroyed. In one incident, Marie Khala, a university student, and her father, Josef, were killed in a bomb blast that hit their car; he had refused to let his daughter go to her class alone because of the shelling and fighting in and around their village.

A Barnabas Aid partner in Syria said:

The Christians in Syria fear of a second Iraqi scenario. We cannot forget how the Christians of Iraq were killed, their churches bombed, and later they became refugees in several countries.

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

I am greatly saddened to hear how grievously our brothers and sisters are suffering in Syria as innocent victims of this dreadful conflict that shows no signs of ending. Please do continue to cry out to the Lord to intervene and restore peace to that shattered country.

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:
  • For an end to the violence in Syria and for a peaceful resolution to be found.
  • For all those whose lives have been devastated by the conflict; pray that they will be sustained through each day and have grounds to hope for the future.
  • For Christians as they endure mounting threats and targeted violence; pray that they will know the Lord as their rock, their fortress and their deliverer (Psalm 18:2a).
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Christian family’s plight highlights human cost of Syria conflict

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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Daily prayer

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  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 21 hours ago

  • 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 Fri, Apr 2014 00:00

  • 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

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