CryOut to the Father:
- For peace in this land. After 3 years of conflict, 6.5 million internally displaced, and 2.5 million refugees on top of those that have died, the cry is for peace
- Pray for an understanding that the conflict has reached a stalemate with neither side strong enough to win, that this will bring serious negotiations between all sides
- Pray in the midst of this suffering that God will be drawing many Syrians, both inside and outside the county, into a beautiful relationship with Himself
- Pray for the ongoing provision of food and shelter for those in great need
The civil war in Syria has been especially deadly for the country’s dwindling Christian population. Nearly twice as many Christians died for their faith in the past year than in 2012, according to Open Doors International. Open Doors, a charity that supports Christians under pressure for their faith, said 2,123 Christians were reported to have been killed during the 12 months ending Oct. 31, 2012. That compares to 1,201 during the previous 12 months. During the most recent period, more Christians were killed in Syria alone than were killed globally in the previous year. The Open Doors World Watch List, emphasises that this is the “very minimum” count – only those who have been documented as killed.
Estimates of the total number killed range from around 7,000 or 8,000, according to the International Institute for Religious Freedom’s Thomas Schirrmacher, to the lofty 100,000 estimate of the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity. Beyond those killed, the World Watch List recommends that three more categories, Christians whose death is never reported; Christians killed due to increased vulnerability, such as those in conflict areas; and Christians who die due to long-term discrimination should be considered. Taking these into account, the figure may be higher still, however the precise number of Christians who die due to these factors is very difficult to quantify.
Not surprisingly, Syria heads the list of the countries in which the most Christians were killed for their faith (1,213), followed by Nigeria (612), Pakistan (88) and Egypt (83). Of the top 10, six are in Africa, Kenya, Angola, Niger, the Central African Republic and Nigeria and Egypt . The World Watch List states that the number of Christians killed in the Central African Republic is especially likely to have been under-reported because “most analysts still failed to recognise the religious dimension of the conflict”. Considering only the sum of violent incidents recorded, Egypt (167) tops the list, followed by India (125) and Nigeria (118).