Meghry’s father was kidnapped by rebels who attacked the bus on which he was travelling. Later they killed him because he stood firm in his Christian faith and refused to become a Muslim. Four years after that, in 2016, Meghry lost her husband too, when a large rebel rocket fell in front of a church building, killing him on the spot.
At 24, Meghry was a widow with a baby boy to care for. She is just one of many Christian widows in Syria whose husbands died violently during the Syrian civil war.
Christian women in non-Christian contexts are immensely vulnerable. They are discriminated against both because of their faith and because of their gender, and often abused. In countries such as Egypt and Pakistan they are frequently kidnapped by Muslims, raped, forcibly converted to Islam and coerced into marriage with their kidnapper. The police typically do little or nothing to help the women victims, often siding with the kidnappers.
Strengthen and enable
Then there are women like Meghry, her mother and other Christian widows living in societies where the cultural expectation is that a woman should be protected and provided for by a male relative. Women without such protection are not only vulnerable but also despised by the majority society. So women become victims of violence even if the violence was directed against their husbands, brothers and fathers, instead of the women themselves. Left defenceless and on their own, they are victims too.
Barnabas Fund helps to resource many projects around the world that empower Christian women to escape anti-Christian violence. We support women’s refuges for those in danger of kidnapping or rescued from such situations. We fund small business start-ups and vocational training so that women, especially widows, can support themselves and their families. We provide immediate ongoing aid for the bereaved. We fund healthcare and education for those who lack these opportunities.
Will you help us help them with a gift to our Women’s Fund?
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