The Need: Across the globe, international religious freedom is noticeably more at risk than ever before. Freedom to gather, worship, pray, and share beliefs and traditions of faith are increasingly violated. Numerous countries are repeatedly cited year after year for inflicting dangerous and deadly abuses upon their religious minorities.
With Christian populations having dropped from 20% to 4% of the MENA population over the past century, Christians are at risk of disappearing in the region. In Syria today, the Christian population declined from 1.7 million in 2011 to less than 450,000; and in Iraq, Christian numbers slumped from 1.5 million before 2003 to less than 220,000. Converts are particularly vulnerable in almost all states in the MENA region.
Millions of Africans are facing violence and the continuous threat of persecution across Africa, such as in countries like Mozambique. A recent report in the Guardian this year stated that in fact 9 out of 10 of the global attacks on Christians were on African Christians.
The Solution: This project supports religious minorities in regions where they are under high levels of persecution, as the more their numbers decrease this then represents a massive setback for plurality in the region. Our expressed hope is that by supporting their continued presence they can continue to be a catalyst for tolerance and reconciliation and remain as a presence in their ancient homelands.
Assessments are conducted with local communities to partner and work alongside them. These communities know the key issues as well as often having the local knowledge, experience and people to develop a response to the crises. Working alongside the local communities also means that they become more resilient and sustainable.
Shai Fund has assisted on average 10 000 religious minorities a year. With your help we can continue to help them not only prayerfully, but practically. Shai Fund responds to emergency situations where religious minorities are under duress, harassment and persecution. This fund allows us to respond immediately, often when individuals or families are on the run from radical groups or hostile governments. We are able to supply them with safe shelter, food, water or clothing as we help them transition to a safer place. From emergency relief to longer term projects we assist some of the most vulnerable groups and individuals by partnering with them on the ground and empowering them to help their communities. We partner with local communities in order that we may provide them with urgent relief, and also to assist them in their recovery through building increased resilience to reduce the risk of future disasters.
Your investment will assist in an emergency situation where often times there is little to no other options for these individuals to receive assistance. It will enable a rapid response to the given emergency to assist that person or persons to get to safety and make sure they have food, water and shelter. During the emergency our team helps to build strong relationships with local safe communities or individuals to offer further support.