With the 5th anniversary of the war in Syria, Open Doors have reported that more people, including Muslims, are coming to Christ in Syria than ever before.
“We’re in a big harvest. God is waking up a sleeping Church,” one pastor told Open Doors. “The Muslims coming to faith are ready to die for their new beliefs; that is a different kind of Christianity.”
The war in Syria has devastated its population, with 7.6 million people internally displaced and 4.6 million refugees having fled the country.
While the recorded number of Christians in Syria has fallen from 1.9 million before the war to between 600,000-900,000 now, the number of Christians secretly worshipping is unknown. In addition, many Muslims are now coming to faith in Jesus.
“What attracted me is the loving environment of the church,” said one Syrian believer from a Muslim background living in Aleppo.
New converts from Islam can face serious consequences for leaving their religion. A Syrian refugee in Lebanon told Open Doors: “We [my wife and I] both became Christians. My wife took her veil off, but people started to threaten us.”
There are glimmers of hope on the ground in Syria, and one Syrian church leader summed up this feeling amongst Syrian Christians: “We continue to live in Syria with hope that our country will heal from its painful outcomes. It will heal from its wounds and will regain peace soon. We, under the Lord’s grace and through his strength, have decided to stay and carry on.”
- Give thanks for the Syrian Christians who have remained in their towns and cities, often under great stress and danger. Give thanks for the hope that they have for the future of their country, and pray that they can share this hope with the communities around them.
- Give thanks for the numbers of Muslims finding faith in Christ Jesus in Syria and around the Middle East. Pray for these new believers, for protection and for support and discipleship from other believers.
- Pray for the Church in Syria to continue to see opportunities to reach their neighbourhoods with the Gospel and practical help.
- Pray for Peace in Syria.
Acts 5 vs 14: “Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women … “