Hundreds of Christian families have fled Syria because of Islamic State fighters, the head of the Christian Assyrian Network for Human Rights said Monday.
According to SRN News, Osama Edward said Christians in Sadad have fled out of fear of being forced to choose between converting to Islam or death.
In the midst of the conflict, thousands of Iraqi Christians have also fled the Islamic State, heading for countries such as Jordan, but according to the Christian Post, many of those Christians are stuck in “limbo,” with few ways to make money.
About 7,000 Christians from northern Iraq have fled to Jordan, according to the Associated Press. The country has not granted them permission to work as Jordanian officials say they cannot afford it.
"We've lost hope in everything," said 67-year-old Hinda Ablahat, who lives with other refugees in a church shelter in Amman, the capital of Jordan. "We've been sitting here for a year and nothing has happened."
Charities are currently helping with some of the need.
Last week, Pope Francis asked for more help for the Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.
He said the Christian organizations helping in Jordan "proclaim the resurrection of Christ by sharing their suffering and giving them aid."
"You bow down to their suffering, which risks suffocating hope," Francis said.
Recently, dozens of Christians were abducted from the town of Qaryatain, which is nearby Sadad. According to SRN News, some Christians have been released.
Earlier this year, Islamic State fighters abducted more than 220 Assyrian Christians from small communities in Hassakeh. Only a few have been released.
Publication date: August 10, 2015
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.