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Christian homes invaded in besieged Syrian city; families desperate to flee

Project(s): 00-1032

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria

Christians desperate to flee the besieged Syrian city of Homs are caught in the crossfire; they are not even safe in their own homes as fighters invade and plunder their properties.

Homs_4X3.jpg
Homs is the third largest city in Syria;
its population is around 17-18% Christian
zz77 / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The rebels, who are increasingly influenced by Sunni Islamists, go from house to house, taking whatever they want – even the doors – to resource their campaign against government troops. To avoid being captured, the intruders make their escape by knocking holes through the walls between the properties.

Around 70 homes belonging to Christians in Homs have been invaded and pillaged. The rebels are also seizing vehicles and stripping them of their parts.

In recent weeks Homs has been subjected to intense government shelling, which has killed many civilians, while rebel snipers kill people on the streets, making it almost impossible for anyone to leave their homes.

A senior Christian leader told Barnabas Fund:

The situation of Homs at the moment is a horrifying one. Violence has escalated… We witnessed a lot of bombardments, killings, shootings, kidnappings.

As well as the danger of being caught in the crossfire, the lack of resources is putting the survival of Homs’ residents under serious threat. There is no electricity, and people are running out of clean water, food and medicines.

A senior Church leader told Barnabas Fund that thousands of Christian families who are still trapped in Homs would flee if there was just a small window of opportunity, even two or three hours.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has called for a daily truce of at least two hours to allow for the delivery of life-saving aid and evacuation of the wounded.

Barnabas Fund is helping to get emergency supplies to Christians who have escaped to the villages around Homs as well as Christians in other parts of Syria.

The country has been experiencing very low temperatures, with snow in some places, which, along with power cuts in certain localities, is aggravating the difficulties and hardships of the Syrian people.

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

Life is now completely unbearable for those trapped in Homs, including thousands of Christians. It is far too dangerous for them to leave their homes, and even there they are not safe, facing artillery and tank shells from the government forces and knowing that rebels could burst into their properties at any moment. Our beleaguered brothers and sisters in Syria continue to need our prayers and practical support.

Give Today

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

Please Pray:
  • For a swift end to the hostilities in Homs and other restive parts of Syria.
  • That aid and medical supplies will reach all those in need.
  • That Christians in Syria will not be anxious but will be granted the peace that transcends all understanding as they present their requests to the Lord (Philippians 4:6-7).
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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • 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 Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • 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

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