Faith communities and churches around the world have long supported care to refugees affected by war and famine, but what will happen now that more and more of the Christians are themselves refugees?
One of the untold stories of the civil war in Syria, the conflict in Iraq and the attacks of the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram in northern Nigeria is Christians being forced out of their homes….they are now the refugees. As a result, they need food, medicine and shelter. Christians often trek to bordering countries to seek safety and end up in squalid refugee camps with no work and no schooling for their children. Many are traumatized by the violence and homelessness.
Christians in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Central African Republic and other countries all live under the threat of widespread violence in those places, but also face the added injustice of being targeted simply for following Jesus. They are being abducted, raped, physically harmed or killed and their churches destroyed. Just this week hundreds of Christian families fled from the Iraqi city of Mosul after a jihadist group took control of major parts of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. Most fled with just the clothes on their backs and a few belongings. Most of the refugees are fleeing to Kurdistan in northern Iraq.
It’s hard to imagine that every 60 seconds a family in Syria is displaced by the over three-year-old war. The United Nations estimates nearly one out of three Syrians have been displaced, both inside and outside of the country.