“I am currently in the Middle East, where Christians are fleeing their homes in fear of abduction, torture and killing,” said Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund on Tuesday this week. “I find them in the midst of a terrible situation. They have lost every possession and live in constant fear for their own lives and the lives of their children and elderly parents.” Can you help Barnabas Fund get Christians to safety?
“It is with a heavy heart that we evacuate Christians from ancient homelands where they have dwelt continuously for 2,000 years. Yet still they follow Christ,” said Dr Sookhdeo. “But the plight of these communities is dire and we need to do our utmost to save their lives.”
Christians in Syria are in extreme danger. An estimated 260 believers were kidnapped on 6 August by Islamic State (IS) militants just hours after the jihadists seized the town of Qaryatain, in Homs province, a local Christian leader told Barnabas.
The jihadists searched out Christians and anyone else they accused of “collaborating with the regime” using a list with the names of their victims. Anyone who tried to escape was hunted until found. Some were taken from inside a church building. Dozens of the Christian captives have now been taken to Raqqa, the so-called capital of IS territory.
Barnabas Fund is working with governments around the world to arrange visas for Syrian Christian families to find safety. We are also working in close coordination with local churches in receiving countries to ensure that the families are helped to settle in, learn the language, and find work to support themselves.
“The greatest challenge is finding governments prepared to open their doors to these particularly vulnerable families,” said Dr Patrick Sookhdeo. Wonderfully, the Polish government and churches in Poland have made a superb offer: they will give refuge to Syrian Christian families, if they can get there.
Already 157 people have reached refuge in Poland through Barnabas Fund’s Operation Safe Havens – but there are others waiting for help. Can you be a part of this solution?
£40 (US$62; €55) will provide a week’s food for a newly arrived family in Poland.
£350 (US$550; €495) covers a flight to Poland for one person.
Join with your church: £2,000 (US$3,080; €2,730) will cover all costs to rescue one person from Syria and pay for living expenses in Poland for a year.
If you would like to help rescue a Syrian Christian, please send a donation to our Operation Safe Havens (Project 00-1199).
If you prefer to telephone, dial:
(07) 3806 1076 or 1300 365 799.
If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference Operation Safe Havens (project 00-1199).
- Praise God for the 157 Syrian believers who have reached safety in Poland. Pray that they will quickly begin to understand the language and feel at home.
- Pray that more governments will be willing to accept Christian families from Syria and provide the security they need.
- Pray God’s protection over Christians in Syria who are still in extreme danger. Pray also that they will not be overcome by fear but will know the loving care of their Father in heaven.