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Don’t Sit on the Virtual Sidelines During the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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ISIS and the civil war in Syria have caused a flood of refugees fleeing from harm. But the terrorist attacks in Paris have resulted in something of a “civil war” in the U.S. and Europe over how to help the Syrian refugees and protect ourselves from more terrorist attacks.

As usual, it seems like the discussion has been hijacked by the loudest voices with the most extreme views.


Some people are being called politically correct fools for wanting to allow Syrians into the U.S. and Europe. Others are being called bigoted haters for wanting to keep them out.

Because of the all the name-calling, many Christians would prefer to stay quiet and not make waves, but…

There are some really important issues at stake that we as Christian ought to wrestle with and some of that wrestling can be done together online.

4 Questions Concerning Syrian Refugees to Wrestle With

  • Does God want us to keep ourselves and our families safe or should we risk our safety to help others?
  • Should Christians primarily try to help Syrian Christians or Muslims as well?
  • Is it OK to treat people from countries where terrorist organizations are based different from people from other countries, or is that discrimination?
  • Is bringing Syrian refugees to the US really the best way to care for them or would it be better to protect them and provide humanitarian aid to them in the Middle East and then help them return home and rebuild?

Additionally, I don’t think God allows us to outsource our compassion to the government. So, another question we should be discussing…

What is God calling me and my church to do to help Syrian refugees?

Here are some ideas…

  • We could send money to Christian churches and relief organizations based in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
  • Instead of doing building campaigns to expand our local church buildings, we could do a building campaign to rebuild churches in Syria
  • We could sponsor Syrian refugees already in our country.
  • My friend Ray is going to the Middle East for 6 months to serve with a team from Youth With a Mission. (more here)
  • Then there’s a wealthy Egyptian Christian who is trying to buy an entire island to house up to 200,000 refugees. Sounds like a crazy idea, but he’s serious. (more here)

So what are you going to do?

  • How will you engage people online in discussion about the difficult issues related to the Syrian refugees? (Idea: you can start by sharing this post 🙂
  • What are you and your church considering doing to help?
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About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

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