As the unprecedented influx of migrants entering Europe continues to create one of the biggest humanitarian crises in history, a surge of hope swept through the hearts of the refugees with the help of faith groups joining hands in providing relief to the displaced families.
A number of Christian relief agencies are doing what they can to help ease the pain of thousands of families who have fled from war, violence, and religious persecution.
International relief group Samaritan's Purse has collaborated with churches to help distribute 2,000 backpacks in Macedonian areas. The relief backpacks are filled with some items to aid the refugees as they slowly pick up the pieces toward a better future. The items include toiletries for hygiene, blankets, towels, diapers, granola bars, and some candy. more >>
The leader of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad has warned that there is another side to the ongoing refugee crisis, which is that organizations that make it their mission to not only welcome but prioritize Christian refugees might lead to the entire Middle East being emptied of Christians.
The Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad, Louis Raphael I, said "any declaration that may incite our people to emigrate is irresponsible at this time," according to The Irish Catholic.
Millions of people have left both Iraq and Syria, fleeing civil war and terrorism threats, and have been looking to relocate to Europe and other Western countries. more >>
A faith-based global ministry has initiated a "Fostering Families" program in which it's calling on over 1,000 churches in America to take in persecuted refugees from the ongoing crisis. Rev. Kevin Jessip, president of Global Strategic Alliance, said Christians are being wiped out from the Middle East, while at the same time being denied visas in the United States, and it's an urgent time for the rest of the Christian body to wake up and help.
"It's inappropriate for the Untied States of America to discriminate against a minority religion who is in dire need of asylum. These are proven cases at the UNHCR that we've seen of people who have been denied, and are in jeopardy of losing their lives," Jessip told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Thursday.
"Not only have they ran and lost everything, but now, in many cases, we are seeing people facing another impending threat, and that is starvation," he said, noting that most of the Christian refugees don't even have basic resources to provide food for themselves. more >>
As the Syrian civil war and the forces of President Bashar Al-Assad continue to take the lives of hundreds of thousands of Syrian mothers and fathers, charities and orphanages in Turkey are doing the best they can to provide children whose parents have been killed with new lives and listening ears for the horror stories those children have to tell.
As a telling example of the brutality displayed by government soldiers during the country's four-year civil conflict, the director of one Turkish charity explained in an interview with the Daily Mail that his organization is providing housing to one family of children whom Syrian government soldiers forced to witness their own father being doused in gasoline and burned alive.
Abdul Al Kader is the director of the Khatayn charity in the Turkish town of Reyhanli, an organization that looks after 70 Syrian children in Reyhanli, rents homes for family groups, and gives $50 a week to the guardians of 30,000 orphans inside Syria. more >>
Imprisoned American Pastor Saeed Abedini has finally been allowed a visit by a family member in Iran after two months. His wife, Naghmeh Abedini, who was told about the visit, said that having to watch his two young children grow up only through photos is taking its toll on the pastor after nearly three years in prison.
In an update provided by the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing Naghmeh, the imprisoned American's wife noted that the visit was "bittersweet," with Abedini being denied the opportunity to attend his grandmother's funeral, who died in the last few weeks.
What is more, Abedini also missed out on his daughter Rebekka's ninth birthday, and has come to realize how much of his children's growing up he has been away from. more >>
The crisis that European countries are facing has become worse over the past days that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has spoken out about the difficulty of handling the issue, pointing fingers at Western nations for their support of opposition groups in his country's civil war that has been going on for years.
In an interview with Russian news organizations, he said, "If you are worried about them, stop supporting terrorists. That's what we think regarding the crisis. This is the core of the whole issue of refugees."
The Syria conflict has taken the lives of more than 220,00 people, and the rest of the migrants are now struggling to get into European states in hopes of finding refuge in the developed countries. more >>