Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church
Syria: Christians from Aleppo – No Electricity, No Water, No Fuel
“No fuel for heating homes. The weather is cold. We are in the winter season. How can we heat our homes? Our kids are crying from the cold weather and we are not able to do anything, except covering them with blankets and putting them to sleep. But nights are long. Everywhere it is dark, cold and black. It’s as if we are living in a cold cemetery.”
This is a response from a Christian living in Aleppo, Syria as he talks with Pastor Samuel, who is serving suffering believers, many of them Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area.
About 40 percent of the 1.8 million Christians who lived in Syria before the civil war – which started March 2011 – have left the country because of the horrible situation inside the country, especially with the coming of winter.
Pastor Samuel also heard other voices of desperation from Christians:
- “No electricity up to 23 hours and 39 minutes per day. This means that we saw light just 21 minutes a day, divided into two periods (morning and evening).This was last week. But since three days there is no electricity at all. What kind of life is this? My child is not able to sleep because of the fear of darkness. Are we in the 21st century?
- “We were hardly having water. But, now, for several days, there is no water at all. When electricity is a luxury, what about water? Is it a luxury? What about taking showers? Shall we stay and live in dirt? What about our laundries? What about our kids? How we will teach them to be clean when there is no water? We lack the basic elements for living. Is this life? Why we are living? If we are lacking the main element of life, which is water, it’s better not to live or to leave the country.”
Pastor Samuel concludes: “The disappearance of electricity, water and fuel makes it very difficult for the families to survive. Signs of hope are rare to find within people and it is very hard to see hopeful and smiling faces.”
Open Doors is partnering with churches and agencies to help provide relief supplies to support Christians in Syria and the Middle East. To help, go to https://secure2.convio.net/ccod/site/Donation2?df_id=6900&6900.donation=form1 or www.OpenDoorsUSA.org
India: Open Doors Making Impact in New Communities
In 2014, Open Doors ministry moved forward in five new Christian communities in India: Lengerisuga, Didrabadi, Dombuli, Beladadi and Jarginaju. The projects in these communities started with the setting up of bridge schools and adult literacy centers.
Over 180 children in these villages are attending the bridge schools and 139 adults are attending the literacy classes. These people will soon be reading their Bibles and will be able to carry out basic calculations that will prevent them from being cheated in the market place.
Cell groups (prayer groups) that also participate in money saving initiatives provided by the government for poor people have also been started in these five villages. An Open Doors volunteer resides in the villages and oversees the projects to completion. The volunteers chosen by Open Doors generally have a pastoral or evangelistic background. In this way they are able to lead the Christian communities spiritually.
The people in these five villages are in desperate need of good income generating means. Open Doors also plans to shift their ministry focus in Odisha to income generating projects in the coming weeks. Besides this, the lack of proper sanitation facilities has resulted in an increase in malaria in the villages of the district of Kandhamal. Open Doors plans to initiate hygiene and sanitation awareness campaigns.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.