While many countries have opened their doors to Muslim migrants from the Middle East, the journey has not been as easy for Christians in search of new homes after fleeing from intense persecution from their countries. However, an aid agency that extends help specifically to Christians is working to change the picture. The Barnabas Fund has set up a program that helps believers from the Middle East to resettle in Australia. Ghassan and his family are among those the organisation, through its Operation Safe Havens, has helped to relocate to Australia. Ghassan explains they ran to Lebanon in March 2014 to escape the war in Syria.
Through the help of a relative, they were able to find a place to rent. However, they could no longer afford the high cost of living in Lebanon, so they decided to give Australia a try and applied for a humanitarian visa. Their visas were approved. Ghassan and his family flew to Australia, and Barnabas Fund shouldered their airfare.
“We love our new country and wish someday we are able to thank those who were the first to support us and taught us the important lesson in the human life that is to give love and do the good to others as per Christ’s teachings,”
As of May 2016, Operation Safe Havens has rescued a total of 1,071 Christian refugees worldwide, and 823 of these are now living in Australia. However, these figures are small compared to the number of Muslims refugees that have been taken in.
In the UK, according to Barnabas Fund, from July to September 2016, only 13 of the 1,583 refugees from Syria were Christians. This means only 0.8 percent of Syrian refugees who entered the UK for that period were Christians, when the Christian population of Syria represents 10% of the total.
Bible Study: Romans 15:7
AUGUST: PRAY DEEPER that refugees will find all the support they need, both from the authorities and from the local Christian community. Give thanks that Ghassan and his family have settled happily in Australia.