Sunday 12 November 2017

Christian Aid Group: "from Christians through Christians to Christians"

Hundreds of Middle East Christians Rescued and Resettled in Australia, Thanks to Christian Aid Group

Iraqi Christian children being greeted by their new friends
 Even though many countries have opened their doors to Muslim migrants coming from the Middle East, the path is actually not as simple for Christians looking for new homes after fleeing from intense persecution from their own countries. Nevertheless, an aid organization that offers help precisely to Christians is wanting to change the impression.

The Barnabas Fund, an international and interdenominational group that seeks to meet the practical and spiritual needs of believers by channelling aid "from Christians through Christians to Christians" offers a program which enables Christians coming from the Middle East to resettle in Australia.
Ghassan along with his family are some of those that the agency, through its Operation Safe Havens, has helped to relocate to Australia.

Ghassan said they ran to Lebanon in March 2014 to escape the war in Syria. Through the help of a relative, they were able to find somewhere to rent. However, they might no longer afford the costly living in Lebanon, hence they made a decision to give Australia a shot and applied for a humanitarian visa.

Their visas were approved. Ghassan along with his family members flew to Australia, and Barnabas Fund shouldered their airline tickets.

"We love our new country and wish that someday we are able to thank those who were the first to support us and taught us the important lesson in the human life that is to give love and do the good to others as per Christ's teachings," Ghassan said. "We pray to the Lord that he protects Barnabas Fund and its supporters."

Syrian Christians arrive in Australia, sponsored by Barnabas Fund
By May 2016, Operation Safe Havens has rescued as many as 1,071 Christian refugees globally, and 823 of these are now living in Australia.

On the other hand, these figures are smaller compared to how many Muslims refugees which have been taken into Australia. With Christians in the Middle East being the particular target of extreme persecution and genocide, there may be still a considerable way to go.

While in the U.K., the number of Christian refugees taken was below 1 percent, especially from July to September 2016. As reported by the Barnabas Fund, only 13 of the 1,583 refugees from Syria were Christians. This implies only 0.8 percent of the Syrian refugees who entered the U.K. for that particular period of time were Christians.

"It is actually well established that Christians, Yazidis, and Shi'a Muslims are encountering genocide in Syria - however, these will be the very groups that are widely underrepresented in the united kingdom and US refugees admissions - even if they were not being targeted for genocide," the Barnabas Fund said.

A recent study reported that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. In 2016 alone, 90,000 believers were killed because of their faith, with a third of them dying at the hands of Islamic militants.

The study, released by the Center for Studies on New Religions, also said that at least 600,000 believers worldwide were suppressed from practising their faith.


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