As the U.S. Congress debates authorizing a military strike against the Syrian military for its use of biological weapons against innocent civilians, the impact of such a strike on the Christians in the country has been a cause of concern. To get a better understanding of the situation, The Christian Post spoke with Rupen Das, director for community development and relief at the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development.
Das, who is leading the aid efforts in Syria for LSESD, warned that a strike against Syria could make things worse for Christians there, who have already been attacked by some of the anti-Christian rebel forces.
"If the regime forces are weakened or temporarily off balance, there is every indication that the radical groups will use the opportunity to step up their attack on the Christian and Alawite communities," Das said. more >>
The head of a global evangelical organization that represents over 600 million Christians worldwide is calling for global action to help stem the refugee crisis in the Kingdom of Jordan.
Geoff Tunnicliffe, chief executive officer and secretary general for the World Evangelical Alliance, told The Christian Post about the refugee situation on the Jordan-Syrian border. "There's a crisis here with the refugees. Imagine 30 million people arriving in the United States in the last six months as refugees. That's the kind of percentage of people that we're talking about that are now in Jordan," said Tunnicliffe.
"So you can imagine the strain that's on the government and the NGOs and so one of the things that we want to do is draw attention to this crisis and call upon our community to respond in a very significant way to help the refugees." more >>
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) declared that Syria is the "great tragedy" of the 21st century and revealed in a new report that over 2 million people have fled the civil-war stricken country, with the numbers rising.
"The war is now well into its third year and Syria is hemorrhaging women, children and men who cross borders often with little more than the clothes on their backs," the UN refugee agency said in a statement on Tuesday.
"This trend is nothing less than alarming, representing a jump of almost 1.8 million people in 12 months," it added. more >>
Open Doors USA is starting a campaign asking for $430,000 in emergency aid for suffering Egyptian Christians who in recent weeks have been heavily targeted by Islamists, who have murdered believers and burned down churches, schools and orphanages.
"The attacks intensified two weeks ago when most of the persecution of Christians (occurred) - they are being blamed by the Muslim Brotherhood for ousting President Morsi. We saw Christian killed – they have been targeted by Muslim Brotherhood fanatics, and they've been caught in the middle, as it usually happens in many cases when Christians are minorities in Middle Eastern countries," Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra said in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Friday.
The persecution watchdog group says that in the last two weeks, there have been reports of seven Christians murdered and 17 others kidnapped, while hundreds have been injured in clashes with supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi. Another 212 privately-owned Christian shops and homes and 95 church buildings have also been attacked, as well as Christian orphanages, schools and Bible book stores. more >>
Barnabas Fund, an international Christian aid agency, has transported and helped over 8,000 Christians escape persecution at the hands of the Islamic government in Sudan, and is calling for help to save the many more who find themselves stranded.
"In the North the government is becoming increasingly anti-Christian," Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, the international director of Barnabas Fund, said in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday.
"The North is heavily Sharia-based and strongly anti-Christian. So we've got situations where women are arrested for breaching Sharia law on dress, and can then be whipped and imprisoned. That is a major problem," he added, noting that a number of Christian churches have been attacked as well. more >>
President Barack Obama focused on many social and civil rights issues, with a major focus on the economy, during his lengthy speech at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom event, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famed "I have a dream" speech a half century ago.
Obama told the thousands gathered on the National Mall about the importance of economic opportunity in the road to equality.
After describing the historical event they were remembering and putting it in the context of the grand narrative of American history, President Obama argued that "pursuit of happiness requires the dignity of work." more >>