Refugee Surge in Jordan Overwhelms Christians
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 Sep 05
Jordanian native missionary leaders say they are being overwhelmed by a new surge of terrified Syrian refugees, Christian Aid Mission reports. "They are coming under the fences every night, 2,500 to 3,000 at a time since the border with Turkey closed," said an indigenous leader of one of the main mission groups who has been working to help the refugees find food and shelter. "There are already 180,000 refugees here from Syria and they are growing every day -- this is a very, very intense time for us." Most of the refugees are women and children, who fled Syria after family members were killed. "We lost it all in Syria," said one woman. "I worry for my family that didn't make it out." Another woman said just crossing the border can be deadly: "We waited until nightfall, climbed through a barbed-wire fence under heavy gunfire with our husbands and kids. Our husbands didn't make it across." Like all the other frontline states, Jordan has officially closed its borders to Syrian refugees and is trying to resist pressure by Sunni jihadists from nearby Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Islamists want to divide up Syrian territory under various militias in order to help bring down the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, an Alawite Muslim who is accused of many atrocities but who has protected the Christian minority. Christian Aid, which has supported indigenous missions in Syria and the Middle East for decades, has set up a special fund to aid Syrian Christians during this time of crisis; more information is available at ChristianAid.org.