With the ongoing Syrian civil war, we haven’t seen an opportunity for missions like this in our generation. The Syrian conflict, which began in 2011 with crackdowns on anti-Assad regime protests, has been simply catastrophic in terms of lives lost and peoples displaced. It’s easy for our imperfect eyes to focus on the carnage. It’s natural for us to myopically worry about how this conflict affects us in the United States without concern of what’s happening in Europe. But we must get past the emotional roadblocks and realize that this not only a global issue but it’s also a Church issue. Thankfully, God knows that good will come from this turmoil; and He knows that the Church will play a crucial role in the Syrian refugee crisis. Our calling is clear — to show love, give support, and share the truth about Jesus with the unsaved among the Syrian refugees.
Unfortunately, the crisis has gotten worse every year, which makes it tempting to lose hope. The conflict crossed over to civil war in July 2012 according to the Red Cross. The presence of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and other groups has made the situation more complex. But despite the lack of a definitive solution to problems that have roots that date back centuries, our mission is still clear — to help introduce the displaced Syrian refugees to Jesus Christ. The promise in all this is that people groups that have been historically difficult to reach are now coming to us for aid. There’s opportunity within this heartbreaking situation.
Numbers can be sobering. Our goal is to inform you on the gravity of the disruption caused by the Syrian civil war. Below are some telling numbers from Syrian refugee crisis facts that will help you understand the seriousness of the crisis and our motivation to help through missions:
- More than 250,000 people (many being civilians) have been killed since 2011.
- With over 12 million people affected, the Syrian civil war has affected more than the Haiti earthquake of 2010, Hurricane Katrina (2005), and the Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004) combined. a
- 4 million of the 12 million affected are refugees outside of Syria and 8 million are displaced inside Syrian borders. b
- More than 75 percent of the Syrian refugees are women and children. b
- More than 700,000 Syrian refugees and other migrants escaped to Europe in 2015 alone. a
- 5 million Syrian refugees currently reside in hard-to-reach areas for humanitarian efforts. c
Our work serving the Syrian refugees in Europe and other regions is fueled by your prayers and giving. Watch the video below to see a glimpse of our efforts in Europe toward the Syrian refugees.
Now is a time when blessings must providentially abound through any and every means that God allows. How will God use you to help support the care and evangelizing of Syrian refugees? Help today by visiting omusa.org/refugees to give support to our Syrian refugee crisis efforts worldwide.
Sources for the statistics presented above:
b Life in Syria – http://lifelinesyria.ca/facts-and-statistics/
c European Commission – http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/aid/countries/factsheets/syria_en.pdf