In Syria many Christians — and they are former Muslims — were afraid of genocide, seeing their city sent to the armed radical Islamists. Afrin became a refuge for around 250 Christian families fleeing the fighting in Syria. The representative of one humanitarian organization helped them to escape, when staying there was too dangerous.
When the fighting in Afrin began to approach the city, many Christians were in serious danger. Charmaine, Hedging, founder of the Foundation “Shai”, which helps the persecuted Church in the middle East, kept in touch with many of these Christians.
“They receive a lot of information about the supporters of radical Islam, such organizations as ISIS and al-Qaida, is that they behead Christians, or just kill them. And since many of these Christians in the past were Muslims, they were a more obvious target,” she says.
“CBN News” found out about another danger. The jihadists broke into the Church, found pictures of some of the faithful, and distributed them. Now they hunt for them from one door to another.
“They say: “We are in great danger. We don’t know what to do.” The Islamists found their photos in the Church building. One Christian told us that now the militants are looking for believers in ‘ afrīn. He was crying, talking about it. He doesn’t know what to do. We need to pray that God protect him”, says a scared Christian Afrin.
According to Hedding, most Christian families have found refuge, but she says that the Church in the West should pray for their co-religionists in distress.
Converts Christians are fleeing, while they are hunted by the Turkish and Syrian forces
“Let pray for their safety. Let pray that these families could stay together, because in such extreme situations, when the fleeing mass of people, members of the family can be lost, and children may suffer more than others. Therefore, we should pray that these families could stay together,” she says.
Kamal Sido of the Society for threatened peoples said “CBN News” that the West should help: “Christians, in particular, the United States must help the Kurds in Northern Syria as well as in Turkey, Iraq and Iran. It is very important to support the Kurdish people in this situation to protect it, because we need the Kurds as allies in the fight against radical ideas in the middle East”.
Occurring in ‘ Afrīn charmaine, Hedding called mass ethnic cleansing.
“From the statements of the militants we know they want to get rid of the current inhabitants of this region, replacing them with other people from Syria. It means massive displacement of the population,” she says.
According to many observers in the middle East, after fighting for Afrin Turkey and the Islamist groups will continue to try to capture even more territory.
One Evangelical pastor told Afrin, a predominantly Kurdish enclave in the North-Eastern part of Syria in the past eight years were mostly unaffected by the civil war that has engulfed this country. But now this pastor is concerned that Turkish and Islamic forces specifically aimed at the Kurds. It is obvious that the Kurds at some point decided to abandon Islam and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, and therefore they are exposed to more threats and harassment. But it’s also clear that the Kurds in this community especially, the fear of persecution, they fear that they will hunt, they will chase. This happened just last week: the Turkish forces were in University dormitories and specifically searched for the Kurds.
What awaits them in the future?
They are in danger. Completely unknown, will decide whether the Kurds to go back to Afrin. They don’t know whether they will be safe there.