The CEO of a persecution watchdog has opened up about the precarious future of northeastern Syria’s ancient Christian communities and urged believers in the West to fulfill their God-given mandate to take action and support those persecuted for their faith.
David Curry, head of the non-denominational ministry Open Doors, told The Christian Post that an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 Christians are in peril after Turkish forces launched an attack on the Kurdish-held territory of northeast Syria on October 9. The invasion began after President Donald Trump agreed to remove U.S. troops from the area at the request of Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“We’re in a real mode of crisis management here,” Curry said. “These Christians living in the northern part of Syria who have faced so much trouble over the last few years are now facing more crisis. The Christian community in Syria has been under massive pressure both from the civil war and being caught in the crossfire between ISIS and the Assad regime. Now, you have Turkey, which is using a localized terrorist group Al Nusra to clear out these communities. They don’t like Christians. They have a Muslim extremist agenda.”
“You have the possibility and great threat of losing these Christian communities, which will have a rippling effect,” he added.
Currently, Open Doors is on the ground helping Christians who have been injured in the crossfire and providing assistance to those who have lost their homes in the bombing. Additionally, the organization is working alongside pastors and church leaders to meet the immediate needs of Christians in the area.
“These people are displaced, they’ve lost homes. They will need help rebuilding their financial lives,” Curry said. “We’re standing with these folks in really practical ways. They’re in need of food, water, health kits, trauma care.
Long-term, Open Doors will help the affected communities rebuild by equipping them with educational support, vocational training, home repair, and trauma counseling.
On Thursday, Turkey declared a 120-hour ceasefire to allow Kurdish-led forces to evacuate the border zone. Yet, danger is still present for Christians in the region, said Curry, who warned that the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis is “still evolving” and “has yet to be seen.”
He told CP that the coming days and weeks are “critical” for the future of Syrian and Kurdish Christians in the northeast region.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett