Syrian refugee: from vengeful to forgiven

By June 9, 2015

Syria (IMB/MNN) — [Editor’s Note: A point to ponder on the following story. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s lost pretty much everything in a civil war with no point. I’ve often tried to imagine the tempest of emotion I would feel mixed with the fog of shock.

What would salve that hurt? How would that conversation even be approached? What follows is a short article about Syrian refugees from the International Mission Board, along with the simplicity of their response.]

(Photo courtesy Baptist Press)

(Photo courtesy Baptist Press)

Syria is in its fifth year of conflict with the grim report that [between 137,000 and 300,000] people have been killed since fighting began in early 2011. In addition, registered refugee numbers have passed the 4 million mark, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Many pastors in Syria elected to remain within the country in order to minister to the millions of internally displaced Syrians. Amid such trauma, Christians continue to have unprecedented opportunities to share the Good News. Through organizations like Baptist Global Relief and Global Hunger Relief, Baptists around the world are able to help feed, clothe, house, and provide medical care for refugee families in Syria and across the Mideast.

But when they arrive in the camps, they’re in bad shape. One Syrian man straggled with his family into a refugee camp, vengeful and angry. He had lost everything to the war: his house, his job, and his shop, which had been burned to the ground. He had even been held captive for five days before fleeing the country.

At the camp, the Syrian man met a believer who gave him a Bible and shared the gospel with him. He was struck by the love and forgiveness he saw in this man and in other believers, and he decided to follow Christ. He was then baptized with his wife and three children.

The man said, “God saved me [from the war] to bring me here to know Him and His love through His Son, Jesus.”

For resources to help your church share the gospel with refugees, go to

For more information about sharing hope with Syria’s refugees, go to 10 Ways to Help.

For an interactive in-depth timeline of the Syrian crisis and how God has used Southern Baptists to minister amid the upheaval, click here.

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