A New York City pastor known for traveling around the world to deliver aid and comfort to afflicted communities and persecuted Christians was most recently in Reyhanli, Turkey, aiding refugees fleeing civil war in nearby Syria.
"My heart goes out to the thousands of refugees fleeing Syria with just the clothes on their backs," Pastor William "Bill" Devlin, who goes by PB, said in statement emailed to The Christian Post on Sunday. more >>
Political responses to crises are often tardy and embarrassingly fad-driven, as with the current global outcry over the image of a three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on the Turkish shore. He was hardly the first innocent victim of this century's most brutal war. Where has the world been for the last 54 months?
Indeed, the unfolding humanitarian crisis was an entirely foreseeable consequence of Obama's spineless Syria policy, and the Western European leaders who followed it. So, despite Obama's efforts to anesthetize the public, it is understandable if some collective shame for Western failures — driven by tragic images that went viral — has prompted Europe suddenly to announce that it will accept more refugees from the war-torn Middle East.
But how did the West become more responsible for the Mideast refugee crisis than the wealthiest Mideast states (whose funding of Islamist rebels helped to create that crisis)? According to news reports and think tanks, Arab Gulf donors have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Syria in recent years, including to ISIS and other groups. more >>
A New York City pastor who also travels internationally as a missionary recently shared with The Christian Post the kinds of stories he has been hearing from refugees who fled war-torn Syria while volunteering alongside Muslim expatriates at a clinic in Turkey.
William Devlin, who also goes by PB or Pastor Bill, is co-pastor of Infinity Bible Church in New York City's South Bronx. He is also president of grassroots organization REDEEM! and co-chair of Right To Worship NYC, which advocated for the city to allow Christians to conduct church services in public schools during off-hours.
The Christian Post previously reported on Devlin's humanitarian trips to Sudan to meet with persecuted Christian Meriam Ibrahim and to Iraq to aid Yazidis fleeing Islamic State persecution. More recently, Devlin was briefly detained by authorities during a prison visit with two Presbyterian pastors in Sudan. A network of donors provide the financial support for Devlin's global outreach and the medical supplies he delivers to those in need, the minister previously told CP. more >>
Pope Francis has urged every Catholic parish and religious community in Europe to take in at least one refugee family and help Europe with its migrant crisis, noting that the Vatican would take two families itself. With hundreds of thousands of refugees making their way toward Western Europe, countries such as Germany and Austria are said to be near the "tipping point" of how much they can help.
"May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family" Francis told the crowds at St. Peter's Square on Sunday.
"Before the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing death in conflict and hunger and are on a journey of hope, the Gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and to those who have been abandoned," he added, according to Vatican Radio. more >>
A human rights group has called on the United States government to step up its outreach to Syrian refugees and resettle 65,000 people before the end of 2016. While the U.S. has said that it will accept between 5,000 to 8,000 refugees, the International Rescue Committee said that is far from enough to really help Europe in its migrant crisis.
"Not only are Syrians resorting to desperate measures to seek a better life for themselves and their families in Europe, but they are dying in the process," IRC president David Miliband said in a statement.
"The U.S. has historically been the world leader in recognizing the moral obligation to resettle refugees," Miliband added. "As the German government calmly says that it expects 800,000 refugees and asylum seekers in 2015, it is vital for the U.S. to step up its response." more >>
Images emerging Wednesday of a drowned 3-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed ashore face-down on a Turkish beach have rocked social media with the sad reality of the risks that hundreds of thousands of refugee families are taking just to find peace and liberty away from the nation's civil war and the rise of the Islamic State.
The 3-year-old Syrian boy, who was identified as Aylan Kurdi, was just one of 12 refugees aboard an overcrowded dinghy who drowned Wednesday in their quest to reach the Greek island of Kos from the Turkish resort town of Bodrum, according to the Turkish Anadolu news agency.
Among the others who perished at sea was Aylan's 5-year-old brother, Galip, who met a similar fate as he washed up on another Turkish beach. more >>