Syrian Refugees

I am greatly saddened by the entire Syrian refugee situation. Not only is the situation in Syria awful, but our reaction to it hasn’t been sterling.  I don’t have solutions, but I do have some observations.

First let’s recognize the facts. The war in Syria has no good guys. This isn’t a cowboys and indians situation. The parties involved are many and the history is complicated. It has been made worse by America’s failure to adequately respond. Our inconsistent and confusing policy toward Syria has just made things worse and has allowed the conflict to escalate and expand. As a nation, we bear some responsibility for the mess.

There are real refugee victims. Let’s not forget that there are innocent victims to the conflict, many are women and children. Syria is an unsafe place to live. The victims include Christians and muslims. The government has used chemical weapons against their own citizens and ISIS has committed untold atrocities as well. Many need safe places to live and restart their lives.

It’s not that the world doesn’t recognize the problem and the need. It is also likely that among the refugees will be those who will seek to take advantage of the situation to migrate to the west and carry out jihad against freedom loving “infidels.” That would be us. It’s also a certainty that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to vet these refugees to weed out the trouble-makers. So what’s to be done?

I think as Christians we have options. The first go-to option as always should be to pray. The situation like so many others in this last days world is fixable only by God. We should be seeking His help often for those caught up in the war in Syria and in other areas as well.

We shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Just because it will be difficult to weed out the needy refugees from the jihadists, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Blanket refusals to offer aid to anyone or to accept any refugees is certainly not the loving response, Jesus expects from His people. It’s difficult to know how to be part of the solution in this situation, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

It seems logical that priority should be given to Christian refugees if for no other reason than they are most unlikely to include people who want to kill us. A higher vetting standard should apply to muslims and to young able-bodied men over women and children. If we aren’t willing to take refugees, we should at least be willing to supply support. Some good agencies working in the situation include Doctors without Borders and Rescue. Consider supporting these or other groups working in the area.

The need is great so the opportunities are endless.

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