Episcopal Migration Ministries says that the Syrian refugee crisis is the largest forced displacement of people in the world today with 9.5 million people displaced, including 3.2 million refugees who have fled to neighboring countries.
The Syrian government has targeted violence and persecution against the country’s Sunni Muslim majority, the group that formed and fed the uprising. More recently, Islamic State has targeted Christians, Shia Muslims, and other religious minorities within the region, including Yazidis in Iraq and Syrian and Iraqi Kurds. Women and girls face violence at the hands of all conflict actors, most notably sexual and gender based violence in both Syria and countries of first asylum.
While 6.3 million Syrians remain highly vulnerable as internally displaced persons (IDPs), with less access to protection and humanitarian aid than refugees, millions of Syrians have crossed the borders into Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon. These countries are bearing the burden of caring for millions of Syrians in need but they cannot continue to carry these burdens alone.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said:
The situation in Syria continues to evolve. The death and violence that have been wrought on the Syrian people are a humanitarian tragedy of the first order…The Episcopal Church and its people continue to pray for the people of Syria, of all religious traditions and none, and we call on the world to help find responses that will result in more abundant life for every citizen of that nation.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. Justin Welby, calls for a “pan-European” response to the crisis and says:
Here are suggestions as to what you can do to help from EMM
UNHCR Syria Regional Response: The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) maintains this web portal for aid groups in the region to share information and coordinate response.
Refugees From Syria, Cultural Orientation Backgrounder: This backgrounder provides more information about the unique experiences, trauma, and needs of the Syrian refugee population.
Hear the stories:
and via the Guardian.
Here is a country by country summary from CNN of how different nations are reacting. The map that shows where many migrants are coming from and what different nations are doing, but note that the map does not show the responses in Jordan, Turkey, or Lebanon.