The United Kingdom has let in very few Syrian Christian refugees. UK Christians assumed the Government would favour their brothers and sisters. But a Christian aid charity says this has not happened.
the UK has been ‘out-sourcing’ refugee selection to the UN. But this has meant a lack of balance in refugee numbers.
Out of over 4,000 Syrian refugees welcomed into the UK in 12 months, only 64 were Christian. This is just 1.5%, whereas 10% of Syria’s population was Christian before the UK-supported anti-Assad civil war.
UN camps dominated by jihadists
Syrian Christians and other religious minorities have been reluctant to go to refugee camps run by the United Nations. The reason is that jihadist groups run the camps. The Christians say they are ‘discriminated against’ in such camps. That could be putting it mildly.
Barnabas Fund’s Head of Research Dr Martin Parsons blamed the meagre numbers of Christians on the British government’s reliance on the UN. ‘Much of the UK’s problem lies with the UN, to whom the government continues to outsource its selection of Syrian refugees. It is imperative that the government challenges the UN on this deplorable situation,’ he said.
Barnabas Fund has instead been re-settling Christian refugees in countries such as Australia and Poland. These have pro-Christian policies and do not rely on the UN.
The jihadist rule over UN refugee camps has an impact on refugee policy worldwide. Syrian refugees can turn up anywhere in the world after UN processing. But they will very likely be Sunni Muslims, the sect of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State. At the very least they will have been exposed to radical Islamist ideas. Indeed, Islamic State said they would use the refugee system to plant sleeper terrorists into Europe.
Syrian Christians deciding to stay
However, the UN’s collusion with the jihadis has had a side effect which could turn out well. Many Syrian Christians are now opting to stay where they are. UK MP’s moaned about the ‘fall’ of Aleppo in December. But Syrian Christians welcomed the defeat of the jihadists. Christians celebrated Christmas in Aleppo in 2016 for the first time in five years.
Since then the Syrian Army has been making more advances. Days ago they secured the Wadi Barada water supply to Damascus. The Syrian Government and the armed factions joined peace talks for the first time in January. And it was Russia, Turkey and Iran who brought this about, not the UK or US.
The Apostle Luke tells us, in Acts 11:26: ‘The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch’. Antioch is now Antakya and lies just across the border inside Turkey. And the Apostle Paul saw the light of Christ on the road to Damascus. Syria has Christian history. Syria’s Orthodox churches claim to be the most ancient in the world.
That is why some Syriac Christians say they are determined to stay. They are proud of their historic roots and their high calling to be living witnesses of Christ’s love, mercy and grace.
We used to live in peace
The various religious groups managed to get along before the uprising, despite deep differences. Those who encouraged the civil war, the UK, the US, Soros, ruined a functioning nation for nothing. But in the aftermath, Christians in Syria resent what was done.
‘We used to live in peace under Assad,’ a Syrian Christian told International Christian Concern. ‘Assad is not a perfect man, yet he gave the Christians freedom and rights the same as Muslims. We could wear what we wanted and we had churches all over the country.
‘Then when the uprising started, we began to see many Islamist jihadists from Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. They began to kill us (the Christians) and other minorities who are considered infidels. The Islamists killed us with knives and even decapitated some and burned down our churches.
‘Now, Christians are not welcome under their Islamist rule. No Western country will give us visas. Many times, we feel like the whole world wants to see the Christians of Syria slaughtered.’
Petition to the Foreign Secretary
PRAY the UK Government will take no more Syrian Muslim refugees until they welcome Christians. PRAY they will support Christians worldwide. PRAY for the UK Government to stand for peace in Syria. PRAY they understand that further support for rebel groups will only add to the bloodshed and destruction. PRAY for them to accept reality and help bring the war to an end. PRAY for them to send bricks to Syria and pressure Saudi Arabia to stop sending bombs and bullets.