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Situation in Syria
March 11, 2012
In previous years Christians in Syria have enjoyed “relative” freedom—relative compared to other Islamic countries in the Middle East. But this relative freedom does not mean that Christians have been free from persecution. For example, in October and November 2010 we prayed for numerous churches that were closed by the government.
During the recent conflict, however, the pressure on Christians from the Syrian government has somewhat lessened, since many Christians have in tried to avoid getting involved in the conflict. Nevertheless, Christians have been caught in the crossfire. Amid heavy fighting, a church leader was shot by rebel fire while trying to rescue another believer. In Homs, rebels have plundered about 70 homes belonging to Christians in order to obtain supplies. Between the dangers of government shelling and rebbel sniper fire, Christians were trapped and unable to escape the city. Some fear what the future holds. The situation is especially dangerous because jihadists could take advantage of the upheaval and because some members of the opposition are promising a return to Sharia law.
In a recent email update the Jubilee Campaign reports on some of the recent violence:
Unfortunately, Jubilee Campaign's sources tell us that the peaceful protestors in Syria are not so peaceful toward their Christian minority. The culmination of these protests end in raids on Christian communities to take women from their homes and families and rape them.
Yet even this is not enough for certain Muslim extremists. Sheik Adnan Al-Arour commonly appears on Syrian TV to urge Muslims to kill, not kidnap Christian women. He even goes so far as to give quotas for specific Christian communities as he incites his followers to rape and murder. Such is the nature of Syria's Arab Spring.
Another community particularly victimized by the sectarian violence are [sic] the Iraqi Christian refugees many of whom fled to Syria to escape this same process in Iraq. The Iraqi refugees are easy prey, and far softer targets than the regime's military forces.
Despite the bleakness of the situation, our contacts tell us that the Syrian church is experiencing a revival and an outpouring of God's Spirit like nothing their churches have known in hundreds of years. Throughout Syria Christians are sharing their faith, and the Gospel is doing a mighty work.
Please pray for Christians in Syria.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” –Psalm 46:1-3