The genocide of Christians in the Middle East

Genocide of Christians

Note from Author: I have written this article because the facts concerning Christian refugee discrimination are largely unknown by the Australian public. They certainly are not being made known by the Government. The objective of the article is to generate community discussion, which it is hoped will lead to action to rescue Christians trapped in the Middle East. It is newsworthy as it demonstrates how Australia, a Christian heritage country, by its support of a flawed refugee system, is ignoring the genocide of Christians in the Middle East. From my research I see the present genocide in the Middle East as being a repeat of the Armenian Genocide which occurred there almost 100 years ago, whereby one and a half million Christians were killed.

Diego Colina, Friend of the Barnabas Fund 

Although not mentioned often in mainstream media, the targeting of Christians for persecution around the globe has increased in recent years and continues to increase. However, there is a striking lack of awareness of this among the general populace, particularly in the West. Here are some sobering statistics.

  • The International Society for Human Rights, a non-religious organisation, has stated that ‘80% of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed against Christians.’
  • The CIA World Factbook states that, at the commencement of the civil war in Syria in 2011, Syrian Christians made up 10% of the population, which would have been around 2 million persons.
  • The Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Catholics Bishops Conference has stated that at least 100,000 Christians are killed each year because of their faith.
  • In addition, a member of the Barnabas Fund who regularly visits Syria and the Middle East told me that to his knowledge there are nearly 400,000 Christians stuck in Syria, not in UN camps, needing evacuation.
  • Fadi Esber, in an article in the January 2016 edition of the National Caucus for the Persecuted Church Newsletter/ ‘The Final Exodus of Assyrians from Syria’, states that church officials in Syria … when pressed for an answer in private … suggest that only half a million Christians remain in Syria. Fadi Esber [contends] that,

At the present rate and with peace nowhere on the horizon, the country might very well lose its centuries-old Christian community by the end of this decade.

Hence it is very clear that, unless the number of rescues being undertaken by various Christian rescue organisations can be increased due to greater funding, Islamic State will succeed in its genocide aims with only a small number of Christians having been rescued from this fate.

What, if anything, can be done?

Syrian Christians are more discriminated against than other minority groups in this region and face far greater persecution. 

Moreover, Christians seeking resettlement as refugees by accepting countries do not enter the United Nations refugee camps for fear of assassination or kidnapping by IS groups within these camps.  The Express newspaper has reported that,

The jihadists are sending teams of trained killers into the UN camps disguised as refugees to kidnap and kill vulnerable Christians. 

There are also Muslim refugee groups in the camps who are seeking refuge from the Assad government. As Syrian Christians have supported the Assad government, these refugees are also seeking the demise of Christians. 

More than two thirds of the Syrian Christians who have fled from IS-controlled lands do not live in the UN camps. Instead they live in camps provided by churches, schools and individual families.

However, Western countries such as Britain, the USA and Australia in practice only accept refugees from UN camps. Hence, the number of Christians being settled in these countries is minimal. This discrimination against Christians was also highlighted in the Barnabas Fund July 2016 Newsletter, which reported that the number of Syrian refugees admitted to America in May was 1,037, but that only two of these were Christians.

Similarly, when Syrian Christian refugees have joined overland refugee marches through Europe and have been housed in German and other refugee camps, they have been threatened with death by some of the other refugees. Rather than remain in such camps they have returned to Syria, as it has appeared to be a safer location for them. 

References

Breitbart eleven-christians-killed-every-hour 

Catholic bishops conference on-the-ongoing-persecution of christians/ 

Jude Simion, ‘Churches rally to help Christian refugees’, Eternity Newspaper, May 2016. 

Barnabas Fund persecution of Christians in refugee camps 

Express UK assassins in refugee camps  http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/614249/ISIS-sends-ASSASSINS-UN-refugee-camps-could-come-Britain

The Barnabas Fund

The Barnabas Fund is a Christian rescue organisation ... combating the fallout from this genocide. It works with individuals, churches and groups to arrange the sponsorship of Christian refugees within special humanitarian programs.

Barnabas also provides support for refugees of shelter, food and clothing as well as transport costs to enable them to find a new, safe home. This is particularly important as many refugees fleeing Syria have drowned at sea, or been robbed of everything they had by smugglers.

Conclusion

The atrocities in the Middle East are caused not only by those who commit them, but also by those who are silent and do not act to oppose them.

The Barnabas Fund’s ability to provide these vital services is limited to the amount the charity receives in donations. In making a donation to this charity you would therefore be contributing to the welfare of suffering Christians and, ultimately, acting to oppose this genocide of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I urge you to do so.

Find out more about Barnabas Fund.

 


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