For Immediate Release | October 30, 2019
The Shai Fund, Christ’s Mandate for Missions, Indigenous Ministries and The Nazarene Fund Giving Food and Other Aid in Northeast Syria, Hit the Hardest by Turkish Forces
WASHINGTON—Several coalition partners of Save the Persecuted Christian (STPC, www.savethepersecutedchristians.org) are actively involved in providing aid to Christians in Syria who are facing devastating hardships due to the ongoing conflict with Turkey.
According to CBN, as the three-week-old Turkish invasion continues, “evidence is mounting on social media and regional reports that Christians are a target.”
The STPC coalition partners, The Shai Fund, Christ’s Mandate for Missions (CMM) and Indigenous Ministries, and The Nazarene Fund are providing direct assistance to those being harmed or threatened in Syria.
“Not only have many of these Syriac Christians had to flee from their homes due to the Turkish occupation of northeast Syria, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated Turkey plans to change the demographics of this area by bringing in over 3 million refugees,” said Charmaine Hedding, president of The Shai Fund. “Syriac Christians, who still speak the Aramaic language Jesus spoke, will not be able to return, and many more will flee. We will see the end of Christianity in this area on our watch.”
The Shai Fund has been working diligently to give out aid in northeast Syria by working with and through Christians in this area. Currently, workers are getting food to displaced Christians, as well as Kurds, Yezidis and Arab tribes. Ongoing aid efforts are planned, Hedding said.
“Many of the Christians in northeast Syria are in or near the buffer zone,” Hedding added. “In addition, Turkish ground forces are made up of Free Syrian Army, ISIS and other radical Islamist groups. They have openly posted on their social media sites that they will target the Christians and other infidels.”
Another group aiding Christians in Syria is Christ’s Mandate for Missions, led by Jorge Parrott. CMM has reported that the most urgent needs are medication, food, milk for children, blankets and shelter as the weather begins to turn colder. Refugee camps, hospitals, dams, power plants, bakeries and even wheat silos have been targeted.
“Love and care of Christians is the reason that so many come to Christ and … and this love is (what) makes people drawn to Christians,” said an anonymous aid worker not named for safety reasons. “As (Christians, we) can show love and care to support them emotionally and also financially.”
Added Parrott, “We raise funds to send in aid, including medicines, equipment, food, water, clothing, heaters, etc. In the last five years, we helped raise funds for a ‘hospitainer,’ a mobile surgical/medical facility, bakery equipment able to bake up to 20 tons of bread per day, along with many other survival supplies. We help send in medical teams and brave ministry teams for evangelism and trauma counseling. We ask your prayers for the persecuted church.”
Likewise, John and Dee Cook lead Indigenous Ministries, which has the goal to plant churches in limited-access countries and be a resource for the Church in regions of intense persecution where it is struggling to survive. The couple is also witnessing the Turkish invasion “resulting in the deaths of innocents and the release of thousands of dangerous ISIS detainees.”
“Support given through our Rapid Response Fund is used in areas that require aid, food, water and the personnel to deliver this vital help to the people,” said Dee Cook.
Mercury One, under the direction of Suzanne Grishman, a member of the Board of Directors for STPC, through The Nazarene Fund, is supporting and conducting operations to rescue Christians and other vulnerable communities under attack in Northeast Syria since the beginning of the Turkish incursion.
“The Nazarene Fund has moved 40 Christians, Yazidis and Kurds trapped by the conflict to safety,” reports Grishman. “The Nazarene Fund is also providing food, shelter and medicine to the displaced.”
The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians is to save lives and save souls by disseminating actionable information about the magnitude of the persecution taking place globally and by mobilizing concerned Americans for the purpose of disincentivizing further attacks on those who follow Jesus.
“Save the Persecuted Christians is partnered with almost 200 organizations providing symptomatic relief to persecuted Christians in many countries,” said Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians. “They give vital support to these believers seeking safety and recovery from violence. Together, we work to end the shameful silence about the global crisis of anti-Christian violence, educate Americans and seek remedies to the violence by holding the persecutors accountable for their crimes against humanity. We invite people of goodwill to join the SaveUs Movement to stand in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters, like those in Syria, by visiting our website to sign up.”
According to Aid to the Church in Need’s biannual report on Religious Freedom in the World, over 300 million Christians experience persecution. According to Open Doors USA World Watch List, 245 million Christians are victims of high to extreme levels of persecution (i.e., torture, rape, sex-slavery, expulsion, murder and genocide), an increase of 14 percent over 2018. Open Doors also estimates 1 in 9 of the world’s Christians experience persecution and that every month: 345 Christians are killed, often in public and without regard to gender or age; 219 Christians are abducted and imprisoned indefinitely without trial; and 106 churches are demolished.
Save the Persecuted Christians has developed a dedicated news aggregator—ChristianPersecutionNews.com—to capture current instances of persecution and to provide readers with an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others. Stories are categorized and resource reports are easily accessible.
With so much of the world’s Christian population being attacked, imprisoned and/or exiled for their beliefs, the need has never been greater for the sort of grassroots campaign STPC’s SaveUs Movement is working to foster. Its efforts are modeled after a miraculously successful one that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution—Soviet Jews—by penalizing those in the Kremlin responsible for such repression. Through this movement, Save the Persecuted Christians endeavors to provide American policymakers with the popular support they need to effect real change worldwide and alleviate systemically the suffering being experienced by so many of those following Christ.
To interview a Save the Persecuted Christians representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner