Christians in Syria are facing a bleak Christmas amid the ongoing conflict.

The director of Barnabas Fund, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, has just returned from Lebanon, where he met senior church leaders from Syria to discuss the difficulties facing Christians.

He heard reports of 86 Christians being used as a human shield by rebels in the Hadiya neighbourhood of Homs. It is believed that six have died during their captivity.

The Syrian government has said it is willing to help get the Christians out and the Free Syrian Army has said it would allow them to leave. However, Dr Sookhdeo said extremist elements of the rebel forces are refusing to let them go.

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