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News / Thoughts

Syria: Urgent prayer for Aleppo

May 6, 2016

After a bloody week of bombings, Christians from the city of Aleppo have sent out an urgent request for prayer.

This Sunday 8 May, Aleppo’s Christians are joining in one voice to pray and fast for the city and the safety of the Syrian people. And they are calling on you and the international Christian community to join with them.

Could you and your church join with our Syrian family by praying or fasting for the citizens of Aleppo?

In the last week, bombing in Aleppo has intensified, killing hundreds and causing unprecedented bloodshed. Streets and public areas have been abandoned as missiles have fallen daily on the people. Even hospitals have been hit.

The Syrian war has been raging for more than five years. Just last month, a UN special envoy put the figure of those killed in the conflict at 400,000. Aleppo, Syria’s second-largest city, has seen much violence as regime and rebel forces vie for control.

Christians in the city are on the fringe of losing hope. With their last strength they are calling out to God.

“The truth is that JESUS HAS RISEN,” said one Syrian. “So now we are asking you to join us in an international prayer and fasting day for Aleppo. We are refusing to see the death anymore in Syria – Aleppo especially – and we are declaring the resurrection of the Christ on our beloved country.”

Below, we have prepared some prayer points to help you as you pray. There are also quotations from Christians in the midst of this latest onslaught in Aleppo. Please share these with other believers and your church.

What to pray

  • Pray for an end to the terrifying bloodshed in Aleppo: Pray for wisdom for all decision-makers involved, that they work towards peace with every step they take.
  • Pray for Assad and his government; pray for the so-called Islamic State (IS) and its leaders; pray for the other rebel groups and their leaders. Also pray for world leaders, that they will not close their eyes to what is happening in Syria.
  • Pray for healing for those who have become traumatised in Aleppo: Men, women and children have been living in the horrific reality of war for more than five years now. Many have lost loved ones. Many have lost their houses. They have seen horrors that can’t be unseen. Many are losing hope and feel depressed. Pray for healing for their traumatised hearts. Pray that Christians and others will experience God’s deep love and care for them. Pray that they will trust in Jesus.
  • Pray for wisdom as people decide whether to stay or emigrate: In this desperate situation, Christians and other residents are faced with the choice: to stay or to flee. Many people from Aleppo have already left. With whichever option the people of Aleppo choose, they will lose something valuable. Both staying as fleeing may be traumatising. Pray for wisdom in making this decision.

Messages from Christians in Aleppo…

Christian man, 26 April: “Yesterday, it was a bloody day in Aleppo. Many shells covered one side of Aleppo. Tens of injuries, 17 were killed. Slemaniyeh was hit as well. It is a Christian area. I saw on national TV that the people lost their temper and they are asking for revenge.

“There is a promise to continue the shelling like yesterday. The shelling started two days ago but yesterday it was strong. If it continues like this, I think we would witness another wave of internally displaced people.”

Christian man, 3 May: “Today, the hospital where my wife gave birth to our daughter was hit. This is the best hospital for giving birth in Aleppo. It is also considered as one of the most important hospitals for infertility treatment in the Middle East. The total amount of people killed is 17. These are the numbers from this hospital only. One of the martyrs is baby, 1 minute old.

“For me and my wife, it is very symbolic. This is where my daughter was born and a place where new babies come to this world and new life begins. Today is full of death and destruction.”

Christian man, 3 May: “University students are hiding in the building because their area is showered (with bombs). One of the students posted a selfie picture in the basement of the university with other students. They were not able to go outside.”

Source: Open Doors; Al Jazeera

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