(Washington, D.C.) — Whatever your politics, whatever your views of how the West should act — or not act — militarily in Syria, one thing is painfully clear: a humanitarian nightmare is unfolding in that Arab Muslim country.
A terrible evil has been unleashed. Syria is imploding. And its hard to imagine putting the country back together any time soon. Indeed, we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of Syria as we’ve known it.
Jesus Christ told us to, “love your neighbor,” and “love your enemies.” Christians need to be praying for the Lord to show mercy to the people of Syria. But we also need to be doing what we can to care for the hungry, thirsty and suffering — the widows, the orphans, those who are wounded physically, and those who have been traumatized emotionally and spiritually. T
he United Nations has taken the lead in trying to provide humanitarian relief. But Christian relief organizations — The Joshua Fund included — are also trying to help. That said, the needs are overwhelming. And the obstacles to getting aid to the many people who need it most are enormous.
Consider the horror show unfolding at present:
- “More than 110,000 people have died in Syria’s 2 1/2-year-old conflict, and more than half of those killed were civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday,” Reuters reports. “The Observatory, a British-based rights group which opposes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, said at least 5,833 children were among the dead.”
- “‘More than 110,371 people have fallen since the day the first martyr of the revolution died on March 18, 2011 in Deraa province, to August 31, 2013,’ the Observatory said in a statement. It said 56,138 of those killed were civilians….’With such a massive and frightening number of victims that have fallen because of the international community’s silence, the Observatory renews its call for the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as well as all people with a conscience, to work seriously to end the killing in Syria,’ it added.”
- Meanwhile, “international aid to Syrians uprooted by civil war is a ‘drop in the sea’ of what is needed, a top UN official said Monday, estimating that five million Syrians have been displaced inside the country,” the AP reports. “In addition, 2 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries, according to UN figures. The total, of about 7 million, amounts to nearly one-third of Syria’s population….Before the outbreak of the conflict, Syria had a population of about 23 million people.”
- “Whatever efforts we have exerted and whatever the UN has provided in humanitarian aid, it is only a drop in the sea of humanitarian needs in Syria,” he said. The funding gap “is very, very wide,” he added