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According to Sham Times and other Arabic websites, jihadi social media networks posted the above picture of a child sitting on the ground while surrounded by armed men pointing their rifles at him. The caption appearing with the picture, purportedly posted by a supporter of the Free Syrian Army, is “Our youngest hostage from among the hostile sects of Kessab.”
Kessab is a predominantly Christian Armenian village in Syria near the Turkish border. Earlier it was invaded by jihadis, who terrorized, pillaged churches, and prompted some 2000 residents to flee. Initial reports had stated that about a dozen families remained as hostages.
Since the picture appeared on Arabic social media, many have expressed shock and outrage, condemning the Syrian “rebels,” while others cast doubt on the authenticity of the picture.
Of course, those wondering what the jihadis have to gain from taking such a picture and making it public would do well to remember that these are the same “rebels” who decapitate people and wave their severed and bloodied heads in front of cameras while smiling; these are the same “freedom fighters” who literally eat their victims on camera.
Surely “teasing” an infidel toddler – a subhuman – with their rifles and sharing it with their sadistic comrades via the Internet for a “laugh” should not be too surprising?
At any rate, the fact remains: the “Free Syrian Army,” along with other “rebel” groups operating in Syria, are guilty of countless barbaric crimes against humanity — including against women and children.
By Ray Ibrahim
These Turks took a pleasure in torturing children, too; cutting the unborn child from the mother’s womb, and tossing babies up in the air and catching them on the points of their bayonets before their mothers’ eyes. Doing it before the mothers’ eyes was what gave zest to the amusement. Here is another scene that I thought very interesting. Imagine a trembling mother with her baby in her arms, a circle of invading Turks around her. They’ve planned a diversion: they pet the baby, laugh to make it laugh. They succeed, the baby laughs. At that moment a Turk points a pistol four inches from the baby’s face. The baby laughs with glee, holds out its little hands to the pistol, and he pulls the trigger in the baby’s face and blows out its brains. Artistic, wasn’t it? By the way, Turks are particularly fond of sweet things, they say.
Fox News and others are reporting that President Assad visited Maaloula on Sunday. This is a village that was attacked and many were slaughtered by rebels. We found it utterly amazing that it is reported that taking back this village from the Al-Queda affiliated rebels was a prize to the government. Assad said that he wants to protect Christians, and other religious minorities. We know Christians were afforded a certain amount of freedom and movement that they don’t have now. In one rebel held area, Christians have to pay a tax to the rebels, convert or die. Many media reports from the MSM about Syria are not accurate. We’ve all seen an realize that. Here’s an excerpt from Fox News:
President Bashar Assad on Sunday toured a historic Christian village his forces recently captured from rebels, state media said, as the country’s Greek Orthodox Patriarch vowed that Christians in the war-ravaged country “will not submit and yield” to extremists. Syrian state TV and the country’s official SANA news agency said Assad was in Maaloula, inspecting the damage done in recent fighting to its monasteries and churches.
What do the people of Syria say? Some say the media reports about Syria are wrong. Some say that Assad is actually correct in saying this is not a civil war, it’s terrorists. Some say that the Army and the rebels are both playing games. Others say that both sides are committing atrocities. When talking to those who have fled Syria, you get a different picture all together. While they tell us that Christians had better conditions under Assad, they also say the Government is to blame for the slaughter of Christians, by intentionally moving out of villages and allowing the rebels to take over. Thus causing the slaughter of Christians.
The Christians in these villages held by rebels have come to rely on the government there for protection. When they leave and allow rebel takeovers, many are killed. It raises the question, “Is this an intentional cleansing of Christians?” Syria is not the only place this is happening. It’s happening in Nigeria, the CAR, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and other countries. It is becoming so bad that some call it the next genocide. Yet the Western leaders are either complicit or blinded. The people of the west hardly raise an eyebrow. No one is listening. No one is listening to the heartbreak, the anguish the sorrow of those affected by this. The survivors, the ones that have fled to safety live every day with the nightmares caused by the evil that is growing there. It is hard to express in words the evil that is there. There is no regard for human life, no regard for anything except heinous slaughter. It is pure unadulterated evil. Evil that can only come from the bowels of Hell.
That’s not too harsh. Look at the images coming from these areas, the reports from those on the ground. The suffering and anguish carried by the survivors. The faith that those who witness and experience this puts all in the West to shame. Recently, a Christian facing extreme persecution told us that their faith grows stronger with the persecution.
Look at the recent statement made by Pastor Abidini for Easter. He lays in a hospital bed in Iran knowing he is going back to prison there, and he’s praying for Christians everywhere—not for himself, but for his brothers and sisters facing persecution. That kind of faith is monumental. But do western Christians have that kind of Faith? Would we have that Faith if we faced what they are facing? Would you, could you? They are an inspiration for our own faith.
As I talk to people and I look around, and listen to the news about the bombings in Abuja, the kidnapping of the schoolgirls in Nigeria, the slaughter in the CAR and Syria, the horrific images of death, starvation, torture, and rape ring in my mind. Then I ask why, why does the west remain silent. It’s not too hard to see what concerns them. Look at the television programs and what’s popular, Naked & Afraid, The Kardashians, the Shopping channels, & other reality shows. Naked and Afraid is lived every day by those in these area’s. Starvation, hardships, fear of death, is reality for them. If you want to watch a reality show, watch the news about Syria, Libya, Nigeria, Yemen, Sudan and others. That is Reality!
When searching the internet or listening to the media, you may learn of the many countries and individuals that have pledged funds to aid the Syrian Refugees and the innocent. In truth, this is not the case–we find the aid reaching these true victims of war is sparse.
How can the world stand by while people are forced to live in the most deplorable conditions, as these people, including children starve to death? In the West, if animals are found treated in these same conditions, there would be arrests and charges of inhumane and cruel treatment. Yet civilization, including many churches, are silent. War crimes are being committed and those fortunate enough to escape, are placed in refugee camps that are gruesome and harrowing at best.
Since the war in Syria began, thousands of refugees in search of safety have made the precarious journey through Turkey into Europe. We follow the lives of two refugee families as they encounter people smugglers, border guards and shocking conditions along the way. They find themselves torn apart not by the war back home, but by a new enemy: ‘Fortress Europe’
According to Amnesty International,
“The Continuing violence in Syria has sparked one of the biggest humanitarian crises in recent history.”
They report that out of the countries able to provide aid, little is forthcoming. The United Arab Emirates, one of the wealthiest countries in the Gulf has failed to give, while Russia has given only minimal contributions. There are sobering reports coming out of Syria of blockades of food by government and rebel forces, as pictures of starving children and people multiply. Crimes of war are never easy to view, or envision. But in a world of instant technology, people are placed in the most extreme conditions and left virtually invisible to the rest of humanity. This is unacceptable!
An excerpt from Amnesty International:
“Both the Syrian government and armed opposition groups must allow humanitarian organizations and agencies unfettered access to assist the civilian population.
Amnesty International is calling on states to make a concerted effort to resettle some of the most vulnerable refugees.”
To date, the international efforts to resettle refugees have been pitiful. European Union member states have pledged to resettle just 0.5 per cent of the 2.3 million people who have fled the country.
This is only one case, the numbers are staggering. According to this next video shared earlier this week, the International Red Cross is at one camp and planning a fundraising campaign. Ongoing for a year, this crisis is now beginning to reach critical levels. Conditions in Syrian refugee camps hit rock bottom as children go one week without food and water.
Aid is further hampered by the fighting and constant threat that aid organizations like Doctors without Borders face. This was shared last week by the Epoch Times titled: “Syria Fighters Seize 5 Doctors Without Borders Staff”,
BEIRUT—Five staffers of the international aid organization Doctors Without Borders have been taken in for questioning in northern Syria, the group said Friday. The five staffers were taken “allegedly for questioning” from a Doctors Without Borders house in northern Syria and have been out of contact since Thursday evening, said Michael Goldfarb, a spokesman for the aid group. He did not say whether the missing staffers had been taken by government forces or rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad. He refused to give further details out of concern for the missing workers safety.
Last year the United States accepted only 31 Syrian refugees. The United States typically accepts about half of resettled refugees. The U.S. State Department has told the UNHCR that the United States is ready to accept referrals, but has made no commitments.
At a Senate hearing last week, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. said,
“Overly broad immigration bars” in the United States are preventing legitimate Syrian refugees from reaching the United States, but President Obama has the power to do something about it.”
“The ongoing civil war in Syria has created the world’s worst humanitarian and refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide and perhaps since World War II,” Durbin, the Senate majority whip and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human rights, said in a statement. “Of the nearly 2.3 million Syrian refugees that have fled the bloody civil war, nearly half are children.
“While the United States has led the world in resettling and providing humanitarian assistance to refugees from conflicts around the globe, we’ve not done enough to address the current Syrian crisis. In particular, the Obama administration should use the authority Congress gave it to exempt deserving Syrians from the overly broad immigration bars that prevent legitimate refugees from finding safe haven in the United States.”
“there should be no disagreement that it is a moral and national security imperative to do all we can to help alleviate the suffering of innocent Syrian refugees.”
Contact your elected officials and express your concern. Ask what they’re doing to help alleviate this problem.
To put the devasatation into perspective look at this map from Open Doors:
In an email update from Open Doors:
The UN estimates that nearly 1 out of 3 Syrians have been displaced both inside and outside of the country since the beginning of the civil war. That would be like EVERY single person in ALL of the highlighted states above being displaced.
Extremists have been specifically targeting Christian dominated areas, killing as many as 45 Christians in a single attack. That would be like the states in the “Bible Belt”, being specifically targeted by extremists.
As a result of the violence, 25% of Christians have had to flee the country, in the last year alone. That would be like 37 million American Christians being forced to flee the U.S.
It’s amazing to think about what it would be like if all of this were happening in the USA. Yet, this is the reality our Syrian brothers and sisters have been facing for the past few years.
Galatians 6:9 says “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Open Doors is helping displaced Christians in places like Syria, Iraq and The Central African Republic, through Christian community restoration projects like housing, food and even rebuilding churches that have been attacked.
*Information gathered from the US Census Bureau and The United Nation.
Other organizations like Doctors without Borders and Samaritans Purse are truly attempting to help, even though their lives are at risk.
If you would like to donate, we are searching for organizations that are using the majority of funds to go directly for the relief of the desperate needs of those suffering.
We have been in contact with Samaritans Purse and they assured us that they are on the ground in this area.
To help support their efforts, visit Samaritan’s Purse at their website here, or you can mail in your donation to the following address.
We are still reaching out to other organizations and smaller missions on the ground, who sometimes are found to be doing the most work. As we are informed, we’ll keep you updated so you can support their mission.
Intercessory prayers at this time are so important. In a world filled with unending chaos, sometimes we wonder if our prayers are being heard. The Apostles taught of the need for support and prayer for those suffering in the Body. The prayers of the Saints are also mentioned in Revelation as going before the Throne. Try to place yourself in their shoes and never give up praying for them.
Help us to raise awareness of this severe humanitarian crisis. Share this information with everyone you know. Take it to your church leaders and ask them to lead in intercessory prayer for the innocents and our brother’s and sisters suffering for Christ. We are ONE!
“Continue to remember them that are in bonds as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity as being yourselves also in the body.” Hebrews 13:3
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Proverbs 31:8
Report Contributors: VOP Advocates, C.Refsland / L.Kanalos