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Current Page: Church & Ministries | Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Georgia Church Headed by Fmr. SBC President Helping Syrian Refugees Resettle in the US

Georgia Church Headed by Fmr. SBC President Helping Syrian Refugees Resettle in the US

Bryant Wright delivers his last address as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Tuesday, June 19, 2012. | (Photo: The Christian Post/Katherine Phan)

A Georgia church headed by former Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright is lending a hand to help Syrian refugees resettle in the United States.

Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, which is located in Marietta, is helping to resettle a Syrian family in the state that has fled the ongoing conflict in the Middle Eastern nation.

Ricky Wheeler, spokesperson for Johnson Ferry, told The Christian Post that the church is helping the family because that is what the Gospel commands.

"We did it because as followers of Jesus, and in response to His Gospel, we feel compelled to demonstrate Christ's love to the poor, to the foreigner, and to the marginalized," said Wheeler.

"Our church has been actively involved in welcoming refugees to our city for a number of years. We count it a privilege to be involved in these families' lives."

The help given to the family by Johnson Ferry includes helping them to find and furnish an apartment, covering expenses, and to learn English.

"We should do as Christ commands and love our neighbor as ourselves. Some believe these people are our enemies. Christ commands us to love our enemies as well," continued Wheeler.

A Syrian refugee holds onto his children as he struggles to walk off a dinghy on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Lesbos, Greece, September 24, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis)

"We believe these are hurting people who have been traumatized by war and are desperately seeking what we all desire — to raise their families in peace and safety."

Over the past few years, Syria has become a war torn nation due to the civil war meant to dislodge President Bashar Assad from power and the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Because of this, large numbers of Syrians have fled their country to seek refuge in other Middle Eastern states, Europe, and the U.S.

Many in the U.S. are asking the Obama administration to allow more than 10,000 Syrian refugees to enter the country, while others, including several state governors, oppose it amid security concerns.

Gradually, however, several families have been resettled in the U.S., such as in Texas, whose governor declared his refusal to allow resettlement, especially after the terrorist attacks in Paris, France.

"Texas has taken in more refugees than any other state in the last five years, including about 250 Syrian refugees. But it also fought harder than any other state to stop the inflow of Syrian refugees after the attacks," reported The Associated Press.

Johnson Ferry Baptist Church is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, the state chapter of the Southern Baptist Convention.

J. Robert White, executive director of the Georgia Baptist Convention, told CP that Johnson Ferry "has a history of significant involvement in worldwide mission service."

"Their compassion for the Syrian family for whom they are providing care is very much in keeping with the tradition of the Church," said White.

White also told CP that his convention has "not taken an official position regarding Syrian refugees" and how the nation should respond to the crisis.

"Many Georgia Baptists have expressed deep sympathy for the Syrian people who have suffered brutal treatment," continued White.

"At the same time, there is a significant concern regarding the thorough vetting of refugees from Syria as well as other places in the world so that the security of our homeland might be treated with the utmost care. This is a great human challenge that is not easily solved."

Map and charts showing the number of Syrian refugees in the Middle East and Syrian asylum seekers in Europe. | (Photo: Reuters/map)

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