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Church helps persecuted Christians find safety

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Middle East

Numerous Christian families from the Middle East are stranded after fleeing their homes for fear of being killed. About 160 individuals – including Nazarenes and others associated with the church – left certain areas where Christians are targeted and militants are taking over and occupying villages.

The families are now stranded in a transit country.

One single mother of two boys said fighters frequently lobbed shells into her neighborhood. At least one went through her roof, but her family survived.

A European country agreed to accept the families, but they are currently stuck in transit due to delays in the visa process. The delays have dramatically increased the costs of food and housing, so the Church of the Nazarene, through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, is working to raise the money needed to sustain these families until they can move on to safety.

Local Nazarene churches in the Middle East have helped persecuted families from other countries for years by providing children’s education and other assistance, but the current crisis is too immense for them to meet alone.

“We are at a loss,” a local pastor said. “The only thing we know to do is reach out to our Nazarene family around the world for help.”

Another local Nazarene church leader said many family breadwinners have been without paid work for three years because of the scarcity of jobs in their hometowns. They spent their life savings trying to survive and have prayed for a way out for years.

“We feel like God has stretched His helping hand to them,” the leader said. “They lived in areas where bombs are hitting, living like this for three years, but with no financial position [to]leave. … Leaving for [another country]is a big miracle for them.”

Once the families arrive in their host country, another organization has arranged for them to have support for one year as they become established in new communities.

“It is not easy to leave my country behind,” said one of the women in transit, “but I have faith that God has opened this door, so I will walk through it.”

How to Help

Pray for the families who are in transit, that they would make it safely to their destination. Pray for the families still living in places of violence. Pray for the churches in the Middle East as they seek to meet the needs of children and families who are living as refugees in their communities.

Churches and individuals around the world can help persecuted families in the Middle East by giving to the Help for Persecuted Christians fund. Donations will be used to get families to safety and to meet other urgent needs.

To send donations by mail, use these instructions:

In the U.S., make checks payable to “General Treasurer” and send them to:

Global Treasury Services
Church of the Nazarene
P.O. Box 843116
Kansas City, MO 64184-3116

Be sure to put ACM1832 in the Memo area.

In Canada, make checks payable to “Church of the Nazarene Canada” and send them to:

Church of the Nazarene Canada
20 Regan Road, Unit 9
Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3

Be sure to put ACM1832 in the Memo area.

In Germany, send your donation to Helping Hands Germany:

Helping Hands e.V. – Gelnhausen, Germany

IBAN DE56 5075 0094 0000 022394

SWIFT-BIC HELADEF1GEL

BANK: KREISSPARKASSE GELNHAUSEN

MEMO: MID-EAST REFUGEES

For any other country, give through your local church or district, designating your gift to the Help for Persecuted Christians fund.

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