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Published on 16 August, 2012

Syrian refugees flock to the borders

Syria (MNN/CAM) — There's a new buzz that Syria's regime could be
collapsing, if you take the word of key military defectors. 

Until then, the assaults continue, and it seems that Syria's
tensions are spilling over the borders.

Yesterday, Shiite gunmen in Lebanon captured more than 20 Syrians, telling authorities they would hold them until one of their relatives, held by
Syria, was released.  

It's a reminder of how easily Syria's civil war could spread. Lebanon's long and bloody history has
many Syrian touch points, leaving the country divided over the Assad regime.

Meanwhile, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has
registered 157,577 Syrian refugees who have fled to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and
Turkey. Ongoing fighting means those
figures will rise sharply.

What's more, that number does not show how many Syrians there
really are who have fled into neighboring countries and remain unregistered
refugees, reluctant to be counted. Christian Aid Mission spokesman Bill Bray confirms
the report. "It looks like the war is all over the
country. That's what our missionaries tell us as they come back. They just don't
know where the violence will break out next. It's spreading down to the grassroots level. The
smell of death is there, and they just never know what they're going to
find."

Christian Aid Mission has been supporting missions in Syria and the frontline states
of Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey for decades. At this point, their workers say Christians in Syria and in
all the frontline states are increasing outreach to believers in
need, despite the growing horror story unfolding on the ground. Bray says, "We do have people crossing
over the border at all of those points (Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey). Teams
have gone from Lebanon to the Turkish border, and they are going in and out of Syria
every day."

If the government falls to the Sunni jihadist rebels, Bray says, "The
fear is that they will set up massacres and involve the Christian community
in those massacres, and bait the Assad forces to attack Christians." That's especially true among the Alawites and
the Muslim-background believers who have taken shelter among them for decades. President Assad is an Alawite Muslim who
heads a government with all key positions controlled by Alwawite Muslims.

Despite the dangers, the missionary which Christian Aid supports hasn't stopped his work. "What
we're doing is delivering Bibles and 'JESUS' Film dvds, and that is a continual work,"
Bray notes, adding that they're also "praying [in] small meetings. Everybody is
hunkered down and living in basements. It's survival right now."

Aside from funding, prayer support is critical. "Pray that God will protect His people
there, that He will put angels around the believers, that many will find Christ
during this time, and that the strong arm of God will be revealed."  

Christian Aid Mission is hoping for some miraculous stories to encourage other
Christians trapped in Syria. Meanwhile the ministry is getting more calls for help from native missionaries in
Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. About 10% of the population in the country is Christian, including many Armenians,
Syrian, and Greek Orthodox, as well as Maronite and Iraqi refugee churches.

Among the biggest needs this week are:

  • $71,000
    for emergency housing
  • $90
    each for Food and Medical Packs
  • $12
    each for Arabic Bibles
  • $4
    each for Arabic New Testaments
  • $1.70
    each for "JESUS" Film and other Arabic CDs and DVDs
  • $5,800
    for air tickets for new workers being sent to Turkey refugee camps
  • $900
    a month for missionary support in Syria
  • $300
    a  month per refugee family for rent

A special fund has been set up by Christian Aid coded 400REF to
aid the Syrian Christians during this time of crisis. Check our Featured Links section for ways to connect.

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