At least two Christians have stepped up to offer their solutions to aid in the current refugee crisis overwhelming the world’s politicians and those who have seen their borders flooded by desperate Syrian men, women and children mostly willing to risk their lives just to find refuge, relief from war and safety.
Reverend Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse a Christian relief organization, has proposed establishing “Safe Zones” to those persons fleeing their home countries. In an open letter to President Barack Obama, reported on by Czarina Ong for ChristianityToday, Reverend Franklin Graham says “fleeing to another country adds great risk to the lives of the refugees and exposes them to exploitation by unscrupulous people who deal in human trafficking.”
The son of well-known preacher Billy Graham, the younger Graham believes America can definitely help alleviate the massive migration numbers and provide a better situation for those in crisis. Ong’s story quotes Graham: “With nearly 40 years of experience in international relief work, assisting refugees and displaced people from Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, I would like to add my voice to those supporting the establishment of safe zones in Syria.”
Further, Graham believes that “[e]stablishing safe zones would require partnership with and military assistance from our allies in Europe and the Middle East, and it would require a considerable commitment from the United States. Without action I believe this crisis will only escalate. Europe and the United States will be unable to handle the flood of people; and the long-term implications are great with the possibility of ISIS infiltrating the refugees and bringing their terrorist activities onto our shores. It is more effective, more economical, and safer to work with our partners and deal with the problem there.”
‘Aylan Island’ idea
Another Christian, Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, has made known his sorrow over seeing the image of the toddler who drowned to death in an escape attempt by his family and who subsequently washed up on a beach. (See examiner story.) At least one reader voices concern about the plan, however. “RMart” wrote this about the plan: “Sawiris previously said that the island ‘could declare independence’ and operate as a sovereign country. I’m sure the Greeks will be thrilled to know that Syriza party is actively considering giving approval for an island in its jurisdiction being settled by muslims and funded by a joint-stock company where 90% of the money will be coming from Saudi charities and Gulf princes. Why in the world would that lead to war?”
Aisha Reese, writing in an enstarz article, states that “Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris is fast proving that he is a man of his word, as he has actually narrowed down on two islands he would he like to buy for the Syrian refugees.”
In the story, Reese quotes from an interview done with the Coptic Christian, that the project is feasible and Sawiris has heard from “tons” of potential donors. “I’ll make a small port or marina for boats to land there. I’ll employ the people to build their own homes, their schools, a hospital, a university, a hotel,” Sawiris said.
As previously reported, Sawiris said he “cannot just sit … and do nothing, and pretend it’s not my problem.”
Sawiris said that it was the photo of the dead boy washed ashore that really shook him up. “It is the picture of Aylan that woke me up,” he said. “I said — I cannot just sit like that and do nothing, and pretend it’s not my problem.”