Published: 11:00 GMT Daylight Time - Thursday 12 July 2012
Christian family’s plight highlights human cost of Syria conflict
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria
Driven from their home by armed opposition fighters who threatened to kill them, suffering great financial hardship after losing their income, a daughter recovering from a gunshot wound: the plight of this one Christian family highlights the human cost of the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Barnabas Aid is providing
food and other essentials to
needy Christians in Syria
The story of this family of five from Homs is all too typical of what has happened to the Christian community during the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Their home is now occupied by opposition fighters, who have either looted or destroyed most of their furniture, forcing them to rent an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment in a Christian village in the suburbs of Homs.
They are struggling to make ends meet: the father lost his job in Homs and went to Damascus for work but after two months was laid off again; the mother ran a small ladies’ accessories shop in Homs but had to leave this behind when the family was driven out of the city; their oldest daughter works two days a week, travelling to an office in Tartus, but her wages do not even cover her transport costs.
The youngest daughter is a student, but her education has been curtailed because none of the colleges in Homs is still functioning.
The middle daughter is recovering after being shot in the arm by the opposition fighters; the wound is expected to leave a major scar.
Barnabas Fund is helping Christian families like this one, whose lives have been destroyed by the conflict in Syria, with food parcels, medicine, money for rent, and other essentials.
You can help by sponsoring a Christian family for just £18 a month.
Contempt for Christians
An opposition fighter
mocks Christians in a sinister pose
Barnabas Fund was sent a photograph, taken in Homs, by a contact in Syria that reveals the contempt for Christians among the opposition forces. It shows a member of the Free Syrian Army mocking Christians by posing in a stolen clerical garment, holding a looted cross in one hand and a gun in the other; the fighter is standing in front of a church funeral car in a scene suggestive of a visual death threat. The fighters destroyed the church and went in to film the wreckage.
Barnabas Fund has received numerous reports of Christians being wounded and killed, and churches being ransacked and destroyed. In one incident, Marie Khala, a university student, and her father, Josef, were killed in a bomb blast that hit their car; he had refused to let his daughter go to her class alone because of the shelling and fighting in and around their village.
A Barnabas Aid partner in Syria said:
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said:
I am greatly saddened to hear how grievously our brothers and sisters are suffering in Syria as innocent victims of this dreadful conflict that shows no signs of ending. Please do continue to cry out to the Lord to intervene and restore peace to that shattered country.
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).
- For an end to the violence in Syria and for a peaceful resolution to be found.
- For all those whose lives have been devastated by the conflict; pray that they will be sustained through each day and have grounds to hope for the future.
- For Christians as they endure mounting threats and targeted violence; pray that they will know the Lord as their rock, their fortress and their deliverer (Psalm 18:2a).