How can the world stand by while people are forced to live in the most deplorable conditions, as these people, including children starve to death? In the West, if animals are found treated in these same conditions, there would be arrests and charges of inhumane and cruel treatment. Yet civilization, including many churches, are silent. War crimes are being committed and those fortunate enough to escape, are placed in refugee camps that are gruesome and harrowing at best.
Since the war in Syria began, thousands of refugees in search of safety have made the precarious journey through Turkey into Europe. We follow the lives of two refugee families as they encounter people smugglers, border guards and shocking conditions along the way. They find themselves torn apart not by the war back home, but by a new enemy: ‘Fortress Europe’
According to Amnesty International,
“The Continuing violence in Syria has sparked one of the biggest humanitarian crises in recent history.”
They report that out of the countries able to provide aid, little is forthcoming. The United Arab Emirates, one of the wealthiest countries in the Gulf has failed to give, while Russia has given only minimal contributions. There are sobering reports coming out of Syria of blockades of food by government and rebel forces, as pictures of starving children and people multiply. Crimes of war are never easy to view, or envision. But in a world of instant technology, people are placed in the most extreme conditions and left virtually invisible to the rest of humanity. This is unacceptable!
An excerpt from Amnesty International:
“Both the Syrian government and armed opposition groups must allow humanitarian organizations and agencies unfettered access to assist the civilian population.
Amnesty International is calling on states to make a concerted effort to resettle some of the most vulnerable refugees.”
To date, the international efforts to resettle refugees have been pitiful. European Union member states have pledged to resettle just 0.5 per cent of the 2.3 million people who have fled the country.
This is only one case, the numbers are staggering. According to this next video shared earlier this week, the International Red Cross is at one camp and planning a fundraising campaign. Ongoing for a year, this crisis is now beginning to reach critical levels. Conditions in Syrian refugee camps hit rock bottom as children go one week without food and water.
Aid is further hampered by the fighting and constant threat that aid organizations like Doctors without Borders face. This was shared last week by the Epoch Times titled: “Syria Fighters Seize 5 Doctors Without Borders Staff”,
BEIRUT—Five staffers of the international aid organization Doctors Without Borders have been taken in for questioning in northern Syria, the group said Friday. The five staffers were taken “allegedly for questioning” from a Doctors Without Borders house in northern Syria and have been out of contact since Thursday evening, said Michael Goldfarb, a spokesman for the aid group. He did not say whether the missing staffers had been taken by government forces or rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad. He refused to give further details out of concern for the missing workers safety.
Last year the United States accepted only 31 Syrian refugees. The United States typically accepts about half of resettled refugees. The U.S. State Department has told the UNHCR that the United States is ready to accept referrals, but has made no commitments.
At a Senate hearing last week, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. said,
“Overly broad immigration bars” in the United States are preventing legitimate Syrian refugees from reaching the United States, but President Obama has the power to do something about it.”
“The ongoing civil war in Syria has created the world’s worst humanitarian and refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide and perhaps since World War II,” Durbin, the Senate majority whip and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human rights, said in a statement. “Of the nearly 2.3 million Syrian refugees that have fled the bloody civil war, nearly half are children.
“While the United States has led the world in resettling and providing humanitarian assistance to refugees from conflicts around the globe, we’ve not done enough to address the current Syrian crisis. In particular, the Obama administration should use the authority Congress gave it to exempt deserving Syrians from the overly broad immigration bars that prevent legitimate refugees from finding safe haven in the United States.”
“there should be no disagreement that it is a moral and national security imperative to do all we can to help alleviate the suffering of innocent Syrian refugees.”
Contact your elected officials and express your concern. Ask what they’re doing to help alleviate this problem.
To put the devasatation into perspective look at this map from Open Doors:
In an email update from Open Doors:
The UN estimates that nearly 1 out of 3 Syrians have been displaced both inside and outside of the country since the beginning of the civil war. That would be like EVERY single person in ALL of the highlighted states above being displaced.
Extremists have been specifically targeting Christian dominated areas, killing as many as 45 Christians in a single attack. That would be like the states in the “Bible Belt”, being specifically targeted by extremists.
As a result of the violence, 25% of Christians have had to flee the country, in the last year alone. That would be like 37 million American Christians being forced to flee the U.S.
It’s amazing to think about what it would be like if all of this were happening in the USA. Yet, this is the reality our Syrian brothers and sisters have been facing for the past few years.
Galatians 6:9 says “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Open Doors is helping displaced Christians in places like Syria, Iraq and The Central African Republic, through Christian community restoration projects like housing, food and even rebuilding churches that have been attacked.
*Information gathered from the US Census Bureau and The United Nation.
Other organizations like Doctors without Borders and Samaritans Purse are truly attempting to help, even though their lives are at risk.
If you would like to donate, we are searching for organizations that are using the majority of funds to go directly for the relief of the desperate needs of those suffering.
We have been in contact with Samaritans Purse and they assured us that they are on the ground in this area.
To help support their efforts, visit Samaritan’s Purse at their website here, or you can mail in your donation to the following address.
We are still reaching out to other organizations and smaller missions on the ground, who sometimes are found to be doing the most work. As we are informed, we’ll keep you updated so you can support their mission.
Intercessory prayers at this time are so important. In a world filled with unending chaos, sometimes we wonder if our prayers are being heard. The Apostles taught of the need for support and prayer for those suffering in the Body. The prayers of the Saints are also mentioned in Revelation as going before the Throne. Try to place yourself in their shoes and never give up praying for them.
Help us to raise awareness of this severe humanitarian crisis. Share this information with everyone you know. Take it to your church leaders and ask them to lead in intercessory prayer for the innocents and our brother’s and sisters suffering for Christ. We are ONE!
“Continue to remember them that are in bonds as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity as being yourselves also in the body.” Hebrews 13:3
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Proverbs 31:8
Report Contributors: VOP Advocates, C.Refsland / L.Kanalos