In Syria, Christians not only face the constant threat that fighting will suddenly erupt due to the ongoing civil war, but also the added risk that they will be attacked or abducted by Islamic extremists. It’s no wonder an estimated 40 per cent of all pre-war Christians have left the country.
Many of those who remain are the most vulnerable members of society, people who are simply too poor or too unwell to make the journey elsewhere. But there are others who feel called by God to stay in Syria and serve their people. Fathi*, one of our local partners in Aleppo, says:
“I never thought of leaving. Every day I see how we can help people in reality… Over the last couple of years the Lord had to protect me when I was stopped at checkpoints and when I went through certain areas of the city and country. God protected me. That keeps me going.
“I see how we can make a difference through the work we are doing. When bullets hit left and right of you, when buildings crash, and when you fear for your life, the bigger picture helps us to continue.”
In the midst of the crisis, God is uniting his church as never before. Fathi says:
“I am happy to see it is a joint effort of different churches and denominations.”
And God is drawing many people to himself for the first time.
Pastor Edward*, who leads a church in Damascus, says: “Though many have left, the church is still full. Many new people are coming to church. That is very encouraging. We see the hand of God at work.”
Thanks to your support, we are now providing almost 10,000 families in Syria with food and hygiene kits every month, up from 9,000 a month. We are distributing Bibles and Christian literature to help new believers grow in their faith, and to comfort believers who have fled their homes with nothing. Your support also enables our partners to help with medical aid and rent subsidies. “Your gift we received helped us to draw a smile on many faces,” one sister in Aleppo told us.
*Names changed for security reasons
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We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.