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.
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.
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.
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