Simultaneous attacks by ISIL on 25th June, on the northern Syrian cities of Hassake and Kobane, have left Christians wondering if there is any safe place for them. In Hassake, three-quarters of the population fled after ISIL took control of parts of the city, whilst in Kobane, many Christians are in hiding, while others are trapped at the Turkish border after they fled their homes.
Local Christians told Barnabas Fund that “the attackers went from house to house killing civilians, men, women and children.” Nineteen-year-old Shigho was executed for having become a Christian, they said.
In Kobane, many Christians have fled but are unable to cross into Turkey, where they remain trapped at the border. Others are in hiding in the city, but have released a message saying, “Don’t worry about us, even if they were to cut our heads off ten times we would still say that Jesus is Lord!”
Meanwhile, Hassake, which was previously a place of refuge and relative security, now appears to be on the point of falling to ISIL. Nearly 4,000 Christian families have fled the city, many of them families who had found refuge there after their villages in the Khabur river area were raided four months ago. Although some want to return to these villages, now liberated from ISIL control, the destruction there is enormous.
Barnabus Fund is helping to rescue Christians in Syria, through their Operation Safe Havens project. They are working with the Polish government, the Polish charity Esther Foundation, and local Polish churches, flying Syrian Christians to Poland and paying for their basic needs for one year, while Polish churches welcome them, and help them to find accommodation and jobs.
- Give thanks for projects, such as the Barnabas Fund Operation Safe Haven, who are working to help Syrian Christians. Pray for more people to hear about these projects and support them, so enabling more Syrian Christian families to find a place of hope and healing.
- Pray for Syria, as it faces attacks by ISIL, in addition to the ongoing civil war. Pray for lasting peace to come to this nation, for healing, reconciliation and a way forward to a future and a hope.
- Pray for the many Christians working amongst Syrian refugees, for grace, strength and compassion, and for the Holy Spirit to flow through them, revealing the truth of Jesus and His life and love.
Psalm 67 vs 1 – 2: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.”