Editor’s note: The night always seems longer when you are looking forward to dawn. The bombs and gunfire in the warzone, the ruined houses and the perilous escape have been deeply imprinted on the minds of each refugee. Today, the world is experiencing the biggest refugee crisis since the World War II. In Syria alone, over half of the pre-war population has been forced to leave their homes. In this issue of SHARE, we will focus on Syrian refugee children, known as the “lost generation”, and how CEDAR’s partner utilises satellite television to help them improve their psychological health and advance their personal development. In “Back to the Bible”, Professor Ip Hon Ho Alex shared how structural sins can twist our values and what the Apostle Paul’s reminder means to us. In “Blessings by Offering”, we will call on believers to spread love and hope by helping Syrians to survive the bitter winter.
[“SHARE” JAN – MAR 2020 ] FOCUS
Written by: Edward Lai (Senior Communications Officer)
The Syrian War has already been 8 years and it is still far from over. Chronic warfare resulted in uncountable casualties and destruction. More than 11 millions of civilians lost their homes, and were either displaced within the country or have fled to countries in the Middle East and North Africa to seek asylum, such as Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan . When their homelands are still devastated by conflicts, rebuilding their country seems impossible. How do these refugees live in neighbouring countries? Why are their children and other Middle Eastern and North African children described as the “lost generation”? While facing multifaceted challenges, how does this younger generation bear hope for the future? Kurt Johansen, executive director of SAT-7 Europe, Asia and Pacific, a partner of CEDAR, answered our questions one by one.
(Aashima Samuel, the National Director of EFIC@R, interviewed by CEDAR)
“In Indian villages, when we and church pastors advocated anti-child trafficking, some Hindi nationalists accused us of, or even attacked us for ‘brainwashing’ villagers to convert them into Christians. In fact, among them, there were traffickers slandering us to extinguish our anti-trafficking voice,” said Aashima Samuel, the National Director of Evangelical Fellowship of India Children At Risk (EFIC@R), CEDAR’s partner.
5 children have been detained in a military detection center for over seven months, and they range between the ages of 15 to 17 years old. They were detained because one is a child soldier who joined the Movement for Oneness and Jihad (MUJAO), and the other four were suspected of having links to armed groups.
An Amnesty International delegation led by Secretary General, Salil Shetty said, “The children and adults are detained in the same prison and this is a very serious problem, dangerous to the children! This is totally against the national and international law of human right .” There was once a 15 years old boy joining the Jihad because of extreme poverty, but later was arrested by the Malian security forces. They tied him up, beat him in the back and blindfolded him. In fact, violations of human rights occur frequently, no matter if the victims are directly and indirectly involved in the Jihad. The victims had to face unlawful killings, indefinite detention, rape and sexual abuse, and many of them end up disappearing without any trace.
Since July 2013, the United Nation has announced that all children involved in armed groups need to be protected and escorted. [Amnesty]
Pray for Detained Children in Mali:
May all the children involving in armed groups, receive real protection, freedom and be freed.
May God have mercy on the children, that their total-being receive love and care, and a healthy lifestyle restored.
May the government have a real concern about the problem in human rights, and that all lives be respected.
[ePrayer – Pray for children vulnerable to pneumonia]
Nowadays, every 30 seconds, a child younger than five dies of pneumonia. UN and its partners are marking World Pneumonia Day on 12 Nov by highlighting essential actions that can help end child deaths from the single biggest killer of children under the age of five around the world. They are:
exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding complemented by nutritious solid foods up to age two;
vaccination against whooping cough (pertussis), measles, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and pneumococcus;
safe drinking water, sanitation and hand washing facilities;
improved cooking stoves to reduce indoor air pollution;
treatment, including amoxicillin dispersible tablets and oxygen.