God treasures children, but when Christians suffer persecution, children are among the most vulnerable. When conditions are harsh, as they are for most Christian refugees fleeing the killing fields of Syria and Iraq, children’s health deteriorates most quickly. When overcrowded, unseaworthy boats capsize on the perilous sea-crossing to Turkey and Greece, children are the least able to survive. Many have drowned.
In some countries, Christian parents are trapped in grinding poverty through discrimination and unable to afford the school fees, they send their children out to work in order to help feed the family. Children from persecuted Christian communities who do attend school may suffer harassment, injustice or even violence from teachers and fellow students and are sometimes pressurised to convert to the majority religion.
In some cultures, most notably in Egypt and Pakistan, it remains common practice to kidnap Christian girls and young women, compel them to convert to Islam, and then force them into marriage Recently, the abuses meted out to Christian girls and women by Islamic State militants have drawn widespread condemnation, but the way in which the youngest girls (from infancy upwards) are the most highly prized is particularly discrimination bring.
Where persecution and poverty and hardship for Christian children, Barnabas helps. For example, children are given refuge in orphanages and homes, nourished through feeding programmes, support is provided for Christian schools, school-place sponsorship offers opportunities to escape the vicious cycle ofilliteracy and poverty, bringing hope for the future.
Pray for the needy children of Christian families around the world. Ask Him to be their Comforter and Protector at times of violence and their Provider when families have to flee in the face of danger. Pray for those who have no access to education for a release from the cycle of poverty, and for those for whom the classroom is a place of trauma and danger, that He will make a way for them to study in a safe and nurturing environment. Ask the Lord to guide persecuted children and enable them to grow up to be faithful men and women of God.