Published: 11:00 GMT Standard Time - Friday 30 November 2012
Syrian Christians need blankets and heaters as winter approaches
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria
“We would like to thank God and thank loving people like you who have contributed so far for the worthy cause of keeping hundreds of Christian families together, providing food and shelter for them, supporting them to continue to live…”Barnabas Fund partner in Syria
As winter begins to descend on war-ravaged Syria, Barnabas Fund is providing heaters and blankets for displaced Christian families to help them survive the impending bitter weather.
|The cold poses an additional threat to
vulnerable Syrian Christians
In the last week, we have sent funds for 1,500 heaters and 3,750 blankets, which our partners on the ground will distribute to the most vulnerable Christians. The cold is yet another threat to the besieged Christian community, many of whom have been driven from their homes by the violence and lost their income in a country that is increasingly hostile to their presence.
You could alleviate the suffering of a Christian family through the provision of a blanket for £20 (€25; US$30; AUS$30; NZ$40) and/or a medium-sized heater for £30 (€37; US$50; AUS$50; NZ$60).
We are continuing to meet other needs, including food, milk for babies and medicine. A committee comprising representatives from all Christian groups in Syria and Lebanon is distributing aid from Barnabas Fund to those trapped in the war-torn country as well as those who have fled across the border.
“Never been worse”
The winter approaches as Christians face ever-increasing danger in Syria. A Barnabas Fund partner in the country said:
The situation of Christians in Syria today has never been worse. Churches are still being attacked… Christians are increasingly targeted by the armed extremists through kidnap or summary executions. The death toll of Christians has sharply risen, which poses legitimate concerns among Christians about the grim future awaiting them if extremists reach power.
|Winters in Syria can be extremely bitter with snow and harsh winds|
Islamist factions among the anti-government forces are growing in strength and confidence. Rejecting the new Western-backed National Coalition for Syrian Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, Islamist groups in the key battleground of Aleppo last week declared an Islamic state.
They have been wreaking havoc among the dwindling Christian community there for many months. A number of churches have been deliberately destroyed, and at the end of October, a church leader was brutally murdered.
Earlier this month, we received news that two members of staff from the Syrian Bible Society had been kidnapped in Aleppo and a ransom of 10 million Syrian Pounds (£90,000; US$140,000) demanded. Eventually they were both released unharmed.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:
Winters in the Middle East can be extremely bitter, and the cold weather will compound the suffering of the Christian community in Syria. The small contribution of a blanket or heater makes a significant difference, not only relieving the physical discomfort of a Christian family, but also reminding them that their plight has not been forgotten by their brothers and sisters overseas.
If you would like to provide a blanket(s) and/or a heater(s) or other aid for Christians in Syria, please send a donation to the Middle East Fund to help Christians in Syria (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 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).
- That as the winter approaches, all those who have been displaced by the fighting in Syria will receive sufficient supplies to be able to cope with the changing conditions.
- That the blankets and heaters Barnabas Fund is distributing will be a blessing to the vulnerable Christians who receive them.
- For the protection of Christians in rebel-controlled areas. Pray that Islamist factions will not hijack the opposition to President Assad.
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- 3Syria Appeal: Christians need your help as conflict enters third year - 3 months ago
- 4Deliberate attacks on churches by rebels in Syria condemned as war crimes - 5 months ago
- 5Barnabas helping Syrian Christians survive harsh winter and power cuts - 5 months ago
- 6Message from Dr Patrick Sookhdeo: The Tragedy of Christians in Syria - 6 months ago
- 7Helping the forgotten minority in Syria: Barnabas provides £100,000 a month for Christia... - 8 months ago