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Barnabas feeding programmes continue des...

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Barnabas feeding programmes continue despite Middle East unrest

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Barnabas feeding programmes continue despite Middle East unrest

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon

As the Middle East is rocked by political unrest and violence, Barnabas Fund’s feeding programmes for needy Iraqi Christians, both in their homeland and neighbouring countries, continue unabated.

Making-the-food-parcels_4X3.jpg
Thousands of Christian families are sustained by the food parcels

We have been providing monthly food packages to Christians in Iraq as well as Iraqi Christian refugees in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon since 2003. And despite the present turmoil in those lands, particularly Syria, this support for thousands of Christian families has been unaffected.

Ongoing anti-Christian violence in Iraq continues to force many Christian families to consider leaving their homes and heading for Syria, which has a long history of welcoming Christian refugees. But the unrest there, in which at least 3,500 people have been killed in the protests against President Bashar al-Assad, is making them uncertain about the move.

And there are concerns about the future for Christians in Syria if the Assad regime, which has held Islamists in check and afforded Christians a considerable degree of religious freedom, falls.

A Syrian church leader who coordinates a number of the food programmes supported by Barnabas Fund said:

Most of the Iraqi Christians living in Syria are worried because they do not want to see Syrian Christians passing through the same path as happened with them in Iraq. They are lifting their prayers for a safe and secure Syria and for it [to] continue to be a safe haven.

Devastating loss

Christians who flee Iraq leave behind property, possessions and work, leaving them without the resources to provide food and other basic needs for their families.

One of the youngest recipients of the food aid from Barnabas is a baby girl called “Hanne”, whose mother died when she was just three months old. Her father, “Arkan”, receives milk powder in the food package that he collects every month from his church in Syria. He left Iraq following the death of his wife, whose health deteriorated when she became disturbed and traumatised from hearing bombs and gun shots all around her. 

A widow who was forced to flee Iraq with her two daughters following the kidnap and death of her husband is also receiving help from Barnabas’ feeding programme. A month after their devastating loss, she received a threatening phone call in which she was told:

Don’t ever speak about the incident and leave this country. It belongs to Muslims. Otherwise you and your daughters will face the same destiny. Either turn to Islam or pay a sum every month for our great religion.

They escaped to Syria, where they were in great need. The mother had used all of their belongings to pay a ransom to her husband’s kidnappers, – only for his body to turn up two days later in a hospital morgue.

This is an all too familiar story from Iraq, where Christians are frequently targeted by kidnappers. They are also subjected to bombings and other targeted killings.   

More funds are urgently needed to help feed Iraqi Christians both in their homeland and in neighbouring countries.

Give Today

If you would like to help feed Iraqi Christians, please send your donation to either
Iraq – Feeding Christian Families project   or
Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan – Feeding programme project  .

If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote either Iraq – Feeding Christian Families project (20-246) or Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan – Feeding programme project (20-383).

If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote either Iraq – Feeding Christian Families project (20-246) or Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan – Feeding programme project (20-383).

For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/246 or Barnabas/383 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).

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  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 19 hours ago

  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

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