Published: 13:00 GMT Daylight Time - Thursday 11 April 2013
Urgent need for funds to help Syrian Christians as Islamist threat rises
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria
More funds are urgently needed to help Christians endangered by the crisis in Syria as al-Qaeda this week confirmed that one of the leading militant groups among the opposition is part of its network.
Thanks to your generous support, Barnabas Aid has so far been able to send nearly £1m (US$1.5m) to provide essential supplies both to Christians in Syria and to those who have been forced to flee elsewhere.
|Supplies from Barnabas for needy Christian families are bagged up|
We are continuing to work with Christian partners on the ground to get food, baby milk powder, clothes, medicines, heaters, blankets and other practical items to those in most need. But more funds are urgently needed as the intensifying crisis creates more victims.
One recipient, “Muneer”, who was forced to flee al-Qusayr with his family of three girls and a boy, plus other relatives, said to one of our volunteers:
You are the first one to come to ask if we need help or even to see how we are living and if we are living!
Like many other Christian families, they had left their home with few possessions and nowhere to go. Muneer’s uncle and brother were killed while they were escaping the fighting in al-Qusayr. The family is now cramped in a derelict one-room hovel in Wadi al-Nasara, grateful to God for the support from Barnabas, which enabled them to survive the harsh winter.
Christians are in increasing danger as the opposition to President Assad becomes more brazen. On Tuesday (9 April), the Iraqi wing of al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq, confirmed for the first time the widespread suspicions that it has links with the al-Nusra Front, which is at the forefront of the Syrian opposition. And yesterday (10 April), the leader of al-Nusra Front pledged allegiance to the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Christians have been the victims of targeted kidnappings and killings since the start of the crisis. A Barnabas partner in Aleppo told us last week that it is now almost impossible for a Christian man to get out of the city. He said, “Either he is captured by the Free Syrian Army, kidnapped by al-Qaeda, killed or lost with no news”.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:
Our desperately needy brothers and sisters in Syria are extremely grateful for the practical help that we have been able to extend to them as a result of the generous donations of our supporters. We must now call on you again for assistance in this vital ministry as the need expands and the threat to Christians increases. Please also continue to uphold them in prayer.
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).
- Give thanks that Barnabas has been able to send nearly £1m (US$1.5m) to help meet the practical needs of thousands of Christians in Syria and those who have fled.
- Pray that the Lord will continue to pour out His abundant resources to provide for His people in Syria and those who have had to flee their homeland.
- Pray that this week’s announcement by al-Qaeda that the al-Nusra Front is part of its network will inform the response of the international community to the crisis in Syria.
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