By BosNewsLife News Center wit reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos from border areas.
PARIS/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)– With more than a hundred people killed in France’s worst terror attacks since World War Two, thousands of Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq face an uncertain future, rights activists say.
Aid workers have expressed concern about a developing humanitarian crisis after most nations along Europe’s refugee corridor abruptly shut their borders this month to those not coming from war-torn countries such as Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq.
The move by Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia has left thousands desperately seeking a better life in the continent stranded at Balkan border crossings, including Christians.
Hungary was the first country in the region to build anti-migration fences along its borders with Serbia and Croatia. Its rightwing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán urged the European Union to change its migration policies.
He told reporters that uncontrolled migration poses a “direct risk” to all European citizens and has already claimed lives in the continent, a reference to the Paris bloodshed. Orbán also believes that it is “politically irresponsible” to continue allowing migrants to enter the EU unchecked, since they “may or do commit acts of terror.”
FRANCE CLOSING BORDERS
And, while France took in nearly 20,000 Syrian refugees over the past two years alone, its borders immediately closed for the first time since World War Two following the attacks in Paris.
In comments published by several advocacy groups, commentator David Rupert warned that “out of self-preservation and response to public outcry, the doors in Europe will no doubt start closing.”
To cross, asylum-seekers need to display identity documents to prove they are from Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq. The problem is that many of them can not do that, even if they do come from those states, BosNewsLife established during several trips to border areas.
Take Christian Syrian refugee Baraa Abdulhad. She spent part of her life in the Netherlands and now wants to return with her husband, brother and two children after their home was bombed.
“I don’t know what will happen to us. We are afraid that our children will die because of the cold and a lack of food,” she told BosNewsLife.
RIOT POLICE ATTACKED
Riot police could be seen throwing only some water bottles from a hill to an anxious crowd during a recent trip to the Slovenian border area of Dobova near Croatia. “I already said this is the end. We may never reach The Netherlands,” she added crying.
Advocacy group Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC) told BosNewsLife it had urged supporters to pray for Christians like Abdulhad. “As followers of Christ, we know that the most effective way to fight this spiritual battle is through the power of prayer,” VOMC said.
“Please join us by posting a prayer on behalf of the numerous displaced Christians who are in need of God’s guidance and provision during this extremely difficult time.”
VOMC said it was encouraged that several internationally known politicians want to accept Christian refugees. America’s presidential candidate Hilary Clinton reportedly said that immigration should be allowed, especially for “those who are most vulnerable, a lot of the persecuted religious minorities, including Christians, and some who have been brutalized, like the Yazidi women.”
And Governor Jeb Bush was quoted as saying that it was important to provide safe refuge for “every Christian Iraqi and every Christian Syrian” who might be at grave risk.
BRITAN EXPRESSING CONCERNS
British Prime Minister David Cameron has also expressed concern about persecuted Christians. “Every day in countries across the world, Christians are systematically discriminated against, exploited and even driven from their homes because of their faith,” he said. “No believer should have to live in fear…. Now is not the time for silence. We must stand together and fight for a world where no one is persecuted because of what they believe.”
VOMC called it “reassuring to know that our Sovereign God is fully aware of the plight presently being experienced by His long-suffering people, and that He is actively working on behalf of the persecuted through those who are compassionately responding to His promptings and directives.”
The group said it wanted to “pray that world’s international leaders will be granted the wisdom, insight and providential guidance to not only hinder further attacks from taking place, but also to serve as mediators for the many innocent victims of such inhumane acts of terrorism.”
Amid the aftermath of terrorism, it hopes there “may be a global spiritual awakening among all the peoples of the world — one that will lead multitudes to the saving knowledge of the ‘Prince of Peace’, ” a reference to Jesus Christ.
Fabrice Leggeri, the head of the European Union’s border agency, said this month that that over 800,000 people have entered the European Union “illegally” this year as the Europe faces its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. While most of them appear to be Muslims, thousands of Christians are also known to have fled Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other Asian and African nations.
Despite that suffering, Baraa Abdulhad hasn’t given up hope, yet. “I cried out to God.”