(JNS.org) The international Catholic charity group Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has pledged $2.8 million in emergency aid to Christians in Syria.
According to ACN, the money will help fund a number of projects to help the large Christian communities in Aleppo, Homs, Damascus, and other cities and villages that have been hit by the Syrian civil war. These projects include providing funds for Christians to purchase oil and gas for their homes, emergency medical supplies, repairs and energy costs for schools, and repairs for churches.
Since the civil war began in 2011, hundreds of Syrian Christians have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been driven from their homes. Many Christians have only accepted limited relief benefits from the United Nations and relief agencies out due to their fear of registering with those groups—and thus formally identifying as Christians, possibly opening themselves up to attacks by Islamic extremists.
“Aleppo’s Christians are afraid that what happened in Mosul will also happen to them. This is a new and, unfortunately, justified fear of religious cleansing. The Islamic State [terror group] openly shows its murderous intentions against anyone who does not bend to its brand of extremism,” Father Andrzej Halemba, head of ACN’s Middle East section, said in a statement.