News / Thoughts

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News / Thoughts

Syria: Urgent prayer needed

October 14, 2019

We need you to pray. After 8 years of war, Syria is facing new unrest after Turkey launched a military campaign against a region in Northern Syria.

Because of the new violence and bombings, Christians in north east Syria are preparing to flee their homes. We need you to pray particularly for our Christian family living in the towns of Qamishli, Kobani, Hassaka and other areas of north east Syria near the Turkish border.

Fighting in Syria has caused massive destruction, but people were hoping the worst was now over. Many Christians were returning to their homes and restarting their lives, with support from Open Doors partners and your prayers and gifts. But this latest news has put many back in danger, and vulnerable families are planning to flee again.

We have heard from Pastor George*, who leads a church in Qamishli. He said that he and his whole church are leaving the city today (Saturday 12th October). Please pray for protection for them. One of the families in his church has already had their house destroyed by shelling. At least one member of the congregation has been severely injured.

Are Christians at risk?

It’s unlikely that the Turkish army are specifically targeting Christians, though Christians they are obviously deeply affected alongside other communities in the region. Turkey is trying to create a ‘safe zone’ along the border by combatting Kurdish-led forces (who they describe as terrorists) and they hope to send back thousands of Syrian refugees from Turkey. But shelling has led to multiple casualties, more than 20 villages have been seized and tens of thousands have fled the region.

Plus, Christian leaders are concerned that there are some within Turkey’s army who are pursuing their own unofficial Islamist agendas. These Sunni Muslims are hostile to any communities that don’t follow their faith, with particular vehemence for attacking Christian converts from a Muslim background. North east Syria is the principal Kurdish region of the country and hosts sizeable Syriac and Assyrian Christian communities – including a significant number of converts from Islam.

Pray now…

  • For peace and protection for all communities in north east Syria, particularly those potentially at threat from Islamic extremism during the Turkish attacks, and that political and military leaders will act with restraint, wisdom and compassion
  • For those who are bereaved or injured, and those who have to flee, to find God’s comfort, healing, provision and hope
  • That Christian communities will not be intimidated but will find opportunity to be agents of reconciliation, peace and hope
  • That God will change the hearts of all who are intent on violence and that they would discover His offer of new life through Jesus

Give

Open Doors church partners on the ground in northern Syria are responding to the emerging crisis, providing vital assistance to those caught up in the fighting.

Will you pray and give today – to meet immediate needs and provide long-term support for your Christian family in Syria? Just £9 could provide emergency relief for a family that would last a week…

Join the Blackout to stand with Christians in Syria…

Sign up to go screen free and get sponsored to shut down your devices for anything from 6 to 48 hours. Raise money, prayer and awareness for silenced, persecuted Christians like those who are having to flee due to fighting in Syria. Sign up and get a free pack!

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