Syrian Refugees Arrive in South Carolina Despite Objections

Another family also is expected; Gov. Nikki Haley asked federal officials not to send Syrians because of security concerns.

CHR Comment: Lutheran Services Carolinas, a charity-based social services agency, is helping to settle Syrian refugees in South Carolina despite the security concerns raised by immigration. The article explains the issues of inadequate security checks as well as the disagreements between federal and state officials.

Source: Syrian refugees arrive in S.C. despite gov’s objections

Rev. Jacques Mourad’s Escape from ISIS

A Syrian priest held hostage for months by the ISIS terrorist group is certain his life was saved due to his interfaith work, despite being threatened with beheading by jihadists if he did not renounce Christianity.

CHR Comment: Mourad, a Syrian Catholic priest, was captured at the Mar Moussa monastery along with a fellow worker, driven to Raqqa, held prisoner in a bathroom, and urged to convert to Islam or die. He credits his efforts at dialogue with Muslims and compassionate attitude toward them as reasons why he was not executed. While a captive, he met c. 250 members of his parish who were likewise held as prisoners. After ministering to fellow captives for some time, he determined it was best for him to escape.

Source: Priest who survived ISIS: “My interfaith work saved my life’’ – The Washington Post

Assyrian Christian Hostages Held for Ransom

The Islamic State released 10 Assyrian Christian hostages Tuesday night in the Tel Temir town in Hasakah province, northeastern Syria, but over 150 remain captured and threatened with death.

CHR Comment: Those released seem to be persons who could not easily be held in captivity (sick and elderly). The captors seek millions of dollars in ransom money. Terrorist groups use these methods as a form of fundraising.

Source: ISIS Releases 10 Assyrian Christian Hostages; Over 150 Remain Captured

Refugee Resettlement Process Leaves Syrian Christians in the Cold

President Obama said Monday there should be no religious test for refugees fleeing the crosshairs of a bloody Syrian civil war and the expanding reach of ISIS, but critics contend the current refugee placement process is rigged against Christians and the administration has turned a blind eye to the bias.

CHR Comment: Christians are not going to the United Nations refugee camps that would allow them to apply for asylum since those camps include groups that would persecute Christian refugees. As a result, fewer Christian refugees are accepted into the United States. According to reporter Cody Derespina, even though Christians make up 10% of Syrian refugees, Christians only represent 1.6% to 3% of refugees granted asylum since the civil war started in 2011.

Source: Refugee resettlement process leaves Syrian Christians in the cold | Fox News#.VlJvt2Az9g4.email

Christians among Troops that Retake Hol, Syria

Kurdish Peshmerga forces pushed into the strategic town of Sinjar in northern Iraq, and a coalition of Arab, Christian, and Kurdish rebel factions recaptured another town from the militants across the border in Syria on Friday.

CHR Comment: Christian troops were among those who participated in the liberation of Hol, Syria. They are part of the Democratic Forces of Syria, which formed in mid-October, 2015.

Source: Kurdish forces retake towns in Iraq, Syria; dealing double blow to ISIS – CSMonitor.com