Syrian war victims focus of BWA aid

A global Baptist organization asks givers to remember that there are also native Christians in Syria and elsewhere throughout the Middle East.

By Jeff Brumley

The Baptist World Alliance is appealing for donations to aid its partners inside Syria to deliver humanitarian assistance to victims of civil war.

The continuing rise in violence and suffering sparked the appeal the organization issued on Tuesday, an alliance official said. The organization already has $15,000 in grant money for initial relief efforts and an official said it has people inside Syria to distribute aid.

“We already have partners on the ground, but we aren’t naming them because of the sensitivity” of the situation, said Eron Henry, associate director of communications for BWA.

The idea is to get the aid to those who know where the greatest needs are, Henry said.

While Islam in Syria comprises 87 percent of the total population, Henry said it’s important to remember that Muslims aren’t the only ones suffering there.

“Many people don’t remember that there are Christians in the Middle East,” he said.

The Baptist Convention of Syria is a BWA member with approximately 600 members in 10 churches.

In its release, BWA quoted United Nations estimates that 2.5 million people in Syria need assistance, and that 1.2 million are currently displaced within the nation.

“Every day of violence adds to the number of displaced moving in search of safety,” the release said. It added that the greatest need is for food.

Contributions to the effort can be made online at www.bwanet.org.