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Help Christians affected by worsening crisis in Syria

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Help Christians affected by worsening crisis in Syria

Project(s): 49-890

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria

Christian leaders in Syria and neighbouring countries have expressed growing concern about the deteriorating situation in Syria, and in particular what it means for the vulnerable Christian minority.

Iraqi-Christian-refugees_4X3.jpg
Barnabas Aid is helping to feed Iraqi Christian refugees in Syria

The Arab League on Saturday suspended Syria over its crackdown on protestors in a move that highlights how far conditions in the country have worsened since anti-government demonstrations broke out in March. The UN says that at least 3,500 people have been killed.

The EU is also increasingly concerned about the unrest in Syria. European foreign ministers have agreed a preliminary deal on tightening sanctions against the country, and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said it was time to look at increased protection for Syria’s civilians. 

As the Assad regime comes under mounting international pressure, Christians, who comprise around ten per cent of the population, are particularly concerned about what the future holds for them and Iraqi Christian refugees living in the country.

Should Assad fall, it is feared that Syria could go the way of Iraq post-Saddam Hussein. Saddam, like Assad, restrained the influence of militant Islamists, but after his fall they were free to wreak havoc on the Christian community; hundreds of thousands of Christians were consequently forced to flee the violence. Many of them went to Syria.  

A Syrian church leader, who coordinates a number of Barnabas Aid’s food programmes for Iraqi Christian refugees in Syria, said:

Most of the Iraqi Christians living in Syria are worried because they do not want to see Syrian Christians passing through the same path as happened with them in Iraq. They are lifting their prayers for a safe and secure Syria and for it [to] continue to be a safe haven.

Christians have mostly stayed away from the protests in Syria, having been well treated and afforded a considerable amount of religious freedom under President Assad’s regime. Earlier this year, an influential sheik issued an implicit threat to the country’s Christians, saying that all those who oppose the revolution will be “torn apart, chopped up and fed to the dogs”.

Barnabas Aid is one of the very few Christian agencies working to assist Christians in Syria, and has done so for many years thanks to the generosity of our supporters. As conditions deteriorate, more funds are desperately required to help meet the practical needs of our brothers and sisters affected by this crisis. In particular we are feeding many thousands of Iraqi Christian refugees as well as supporting other projects to assist Christians in Syria

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

Syria has been very much a safe haven for Christians in the Middle East, one of the few Arab countries where they were treated with respect and had equality with the Muslim majority. Syria also has a history of welcoming in persecuted Christians from other countries. But I greatly fear that within the near future we will see a new Iraq developing in Syria. Barnabas Aid is standing with our brothers and sisters during this tumultuous time through both prayer and practical support. Please help us to help them.

Give Today

If you would like to help Christians affected by this crisis, please send your donation to the Syria General Fund (project 49-890). Please click to donate online 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 reference49-890 (Syria General Fund).

If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference49-890 (Syria General Fund).

For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/890 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).

Please Pray:
  • That the actions of the international community will help to restore peace and stability for all Syrian citizens.
  • For Christians in Syria, especially those who are concerned about their future in the country. Pray that the Lord will keep them safe, grant them His peace and reassure them of His sovereignty amid this turmoil.
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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 8 hours ago

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

  • 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 Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

  • 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

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