Syria continues to make headlines as its civil war escalates. The United Nations estimated in mid-February that 70,000 people had been killed in this conflict, now in its third year. Last Friday and Saturday, strikes attributed to Israel reportedly targeted a research center near Damascus involved in creating chemical weapons, as well as an airport and Iranian-made ground-to-ground missiles bound for Hezbollah.
In the midst of this physical war, Syrian Christians are facing something much darker—a spiritual war. Christians in Syria have historically experienced a higher degree of freedom than in most other Middle Eastern countries. Many of them have refused to denounce the Assad regime, fearing that extremists would replace the government and severely persecute religious minorities. As a result, many of the rebels consider Christians to be loyal to Assad.
In addition, Christians populate a region of Syria that is strategic to the war. Whoever controls their land can split the nation in two and control the conflict. Here’s the bottom line: Believers in Syria now face the possibility of population transfers, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.
There are three ways we can help them.
First, we can join them tomorrow in a special day of prayer and fasting.
Second, we can make time during Sunday worship services to pray for our persecuted sisters and brothers in Syria. (For specific prayer requests, go here.)
And third, we can join “8thirty8,” a global prayer initiative for the persecuted church.
When Peter was imprisoned by Herod, “the church was earnestly praying to God for him” (Acts 12:5). As a result, he was miraculously released and continued his global ministry. Let’s intercede together for those in our faith family who need a similar miracle from God today.