Syrian refugees are embracing the Christian faith, says ministry

A Syrian military officer records a video inside the destroyed Scientific Research Centre in Damascus, Syria April 14, 2018. | REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

A Christian ministry assisting Syrian refugees in Lebanon who have lost everything has said that many Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus Christ, which lifts them out of depression, even as they face great struggles.

Christian Aid Mission, which assists local ministries through donations, shared last week the experiences of one ministry and its director, who weren't named, who said that "many Muslims" have been coming to Christ with the help of discipleship groups.

"Despite the misery the refugee communities go through, we still see joy in their eyes when we talk with them about the love of God, share the good news and read the Bible together," the director said.

"As they experience healing and freedom through Christ, they come to realize that they have value in the eyes of the Lord, that they are special, and that Jesus loves them endlessly."

A mother of five children by the name of Jana said that she and her husband lost their entire community, their home, and some relatives during bombing in Aleppo in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

Like millions of other Syrians, they fled to Lebanon, where they have faced many hardships, such as a lack of sufficient jobs and shelter. The children have also faced discrimination in school due to Lebanese people becoming weary of the influx of refugees.

A prayer meeting at church gave Jana a new perspective on life, however.

"I used to suffer from depression, but the love and peace of Jesus in my heart and house healed me," she said. "I wish I could stay at church day and night, because I feel peace when I am there. I want my family to get baptized soon."

The ministry director said that one of main struggles has been the end of United Nations food support in 2017, when more than 40 percent of the families lost one of their main food sources.

"We often visit two-bedroom homes which house six people in each room, with all sharing a small bathroom and kitchen," the director said. "These children, who have undergone a traumatic resettlement, continue to feel unsafe and unsettled. Please pray the situation changes in Lebanon."

"Life is especially difficult for widows," the director continued. "They are forced to go from one organization to the next to beg for food for their children, and they endure great humiliation in the cultural context they live in."

Last year, Reuters reported that Lebanon was hosting at least 1.5 million Syrian refugees, making up nearly a quarter of the country's total population.

The U.S. government said in July 2017 that it would be giving an extra $140 million to help Syrian refugees, with America granting more than $1.5 billion in humanitarian assistance to the country since 2012.

During its 2017-2020 Crisis Response Plan report, Lebanon had said that it needs $2.8 billion to address the challenges of hosting refugees, which it says are putting a great strain on its economy.

This article was originally published in The Christian Post and is re-published here with permission