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Syrian Refugees Christian Response: UN Challenges All Nations To 'Be Much More Ambitious' In Assisting Refugees

( [email protected] ) Jan 20, 2016 01:49 PM EST
The civil war in Syria has forced millions of Syrian refugees to be displaced and flee their home country for a better life. The UN estimates that there are 4.39 million that need assistance. UN refugee agency Chief Filippo Grandi is challenging countries around the world to be more proactive in helping to settle Syrian refugees. During a visit to a refugee camp he said efforts, "cannot only concern the countries neighboring Syria," and that, "I think we need to be much more ambitious. What is needed is a better sharing of responsibilities.''
A Syrian refugee comforts her child. UNHCR

The civil war in Syria has forced millions of Syrian refugees to be displaced and flee their home country for a better life. The UN estimates that there are 4.39 million refugees that need assistance. UN refugee agency Chief Filippo Grandi is challenging countries around the world to be more proactive in helping to settle Syrian refugees. During a visit to a refugee camp he said efforts, "cannot only concern the countries neighboring Syria," and that, "I think we need to be much more ambitious. What is needed is a better sharing of responsibilities.''

As of September of 2015, Turkey has accepted 1.9 million refugees, Lebanon took 1.1 million,  Jordan took 629,000, Iraq took 249,00, and Egypt took 132,000.  

Canada has pledged to take 50,000 by the end of 2016, and the US is planning to take 85,000 in 2016, and 100,000 in 2017.

Christian ministries such as the Canadian Bible Society are seeing the situation as an opportunity for Canada to offer Syrian Refugees a Christian Response, and spread the Gospel to people who might not otherwise have heard it.

In a press release, The Canadian Bible Society stated that it is offering Syrian refugees a Christian response through a free booklet called On the Road. It is available to refugees and Canadian ministries working with them. The book is available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Chinese and English, and has been written in collaboration with people who have personally experienced the challenging realities of life as a migrant.

The way that the On the Road book offers Syrian refugees a Christian response is that it's broken into seven chapters which include Bible passages, real-life stories of migrants and refugees, and ties them to Biblical incidences of God calling His people to leave their home country and endure a life-transforming journey.

Director of Canadian Ministry for the Canadian Bible Society Don Miller said, "God has provided us a unique opportunity to respond to the needs of those who are coming to our shores. We want to be prepared to respond with resources in the language of their hearts."

The Canadian Bible Society is also offering a for-purchase pamphlet, "Words that Changed the World." It is based on the Beatitudes with the focus of providing refugees comfort and assurance that this beloved Bible passage has offered to many readers for centuries. The pamphlet is available in English/Arabic and French/Arabic in packs of 10 for $10.

"Both of these resources are very suitable for churches and organizations who are sponsoring Syrian refugees directly, or also living in communities where refugees will be settling," said Miller. 

Other Canadian organizations that are trying to make it easier for Syrian refugees to settle in Canada include Lifeline Syria, and various businesses that have offered funding, free mobile phones and furniture. Some of the businesses include Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, Manulife Financial Corp, and GM Canada. Many Canadian schools are also participating through a fundraising process designed to help sponsor Syrian refugee families.

Not all of the refugees are Christians. ISIS persecutes any people group whose belief system doesn't match its own, whether they are Christians or just a group of Muslims that they feel is apostate.

Tags : Canadian Bible Society, Syrian Christians, syrian refugees, Syrian migrants, United Nations