Syrian Christian Town Becomes Frontline With Islamic State Group

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It is said that the town of Sadad is referred to in the Old Testament.  The Christians from this place believe that it is the town called ‘Zedad’ in the Book of Kings.  In the image above, children are playing in front of a cannon that was fired just hours before, during one of the many skirmishes on the town’s frontier.  The Islamic State group is gradually encroaching on this ancient Christian town.  A majority of the Sadad population is still Syrian Orthodox Christian, but these Christians feel the danger as they are now in the sights of the jihadist group.

The Islamic State is intentionally targeting the ancient Christian buildings and landmarks because they fall outside its harsh interpretation of Islam.

Around 60 percent of the 12,000 residents, particularly the women and children, have fled to other Christian villages in the province, like Fayruza and Yazdal. The men are staying behind to defend the town.

Said Suleiman Khalil, Sadad’s mayor, a man in his 30s, while working a rosary through his fingers as he walked.

The Russians have come to give aid and military support to all people in the area, but most specifically their fell brothers and sisters in Christ who are the front lines struggling to defend their faith.

The full article is found at UK Yahoo News.  Photo credit from AFP, found via the same article.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP IN DEFENSE OF REFUGEES

We invite you to share with the Orthodox Christian Network substantive philanthropies that are coming to the aid of all that are persecuted.  Notable is the IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) whom “in the spirit of Christ’s love, offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthens the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond”.  The IOCC has undertaken significant initiatives to help save Syria’s children whom are displaced or living as refugees.  Notably 92% of every dollar donated to the IOCC “directly helps those affecting dire situations.”

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An additional notable philanthropy is “The Barnabas Fund’s Operation Safe Havens program which has pressed governments to issue visas to persecuted Christians, on condition that the organization will foot their expenses.  Operation Safe Havens was featured in an August 20, 2015, editorial in the Wall Street Journal by Robert R. Reilly, director of the Westminster Institute in McLean, Va.

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Dean Franck is a first year student in the Master's…
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