The Problem

100,000 million Christians face persecution simply for following Jesus 
The Problem


Leader: President Bashar al-Assad
Population: 18.9 million (794,000 Christians)
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Republic
Source of Persecution: Islamic extremism
World Watch List Rank: 6

“The world uses bombs and rockets. We have a weapon that gives life: the Word of God… Many thousands of families found their way to the churches. I even saw an Imam come to Christ.”
Daniel, a Pastor from Damascus

The basics

In the midst of the civil war, Christians are targeted by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), as well as other Islamic extremist groups. This year, churches and Christian-owned businesses were targets of IS bombings, and there have been many reports of Christians being abducted, physically harmed and killed. IS’s propaganda magazine has said that IS fighters are allowed to rape non-Muslim women. Despite this, some Christians are committed to staying in Syria and hope to play a part in bringing reconciliation to their communities.

The facts

  • The war in Syria began in 2011 as a popular uprising against the government. Since then the situation has escalated, and various factions and groups, with support from different countries around the world, have created a confusing, deadly situation, with no solution on the horizon.
  • Like in Iraq, the anti-Christian Islamic State has seized large parts of land, and Christians have been attacked, abducted and killed.
  • Since 2011 an estimated 700,000 Christians have fled the country. That’s around half of all the Christians.
  • Christians are often seen as supportive of the government, which means most rebel groups see them as enemies.
  • At least 63 Churches in Syria have been destroyed in the last 5 years either as a result of fighting, or by extremists opposing any Christian worship.

Where is it?

Pray this

Lord God,
You are great. Even when Your church seems beaten, You can still use it to shine Your light and love. How amazing! Grow Your church from the rubble, pain and trauma. Bring hope. For those that remain, be their daily bread. Give them food, shelter, protection and safety. Bring a just end to war. Coordinate world leaders and the efforts of nations. Bring peace. Keep the church strong. Keep inspiring new faith, new passion and new ways that Christians can show your love. Make Christian leaders key to the future of Syria.

Other things to pray for…

  • For strength and protection for brave Open Doors partners and church leaders who are choosing to stay in Syria to shine the light of Christ in their communities, despite the risks
  • For provision for the thousands of displaced people in Syria who are simply too poor or infirm to leave the country
  • For courage for Muslim background believers – in some areas they face being rejected by their families – or worse, if discovered.
  • For the almost 6 million refugees who have fled the war in Syria, that churches in their host countries will show them the love of Christ
  • For wisdom for the leaders of Syria, and for God to use them to bring peace.


The Cost – Short film

Use this film as part of a Secret Screening and raise prayer, awareness and money for the Church in Syria…

Save ME

My Story

A message from Pastor Edward
Pray for ME

Pray for Syria

More detailed info…

The good news: How we’re helping…

Through local church partnerships, Open Doors is strengthening the church to take advantage of the many opportunities for ministry, even in the ongoing crisis situation. This includes:

  • Partnering with the local church to care for and provide relief aid to tens of thousands of displaced Christians, and starting all kinds of rehab programmes for them
  • Distributing Bibles, Study Bibles, Children’s Bibles, New Testaments and Christian books
  • Providing discipleship and leadership training for church leaders and youth leaders
  • Trauma counselling and debriefing
  • Building bridges between Christian denominations by sponsoring conferences to which all denominations are invited.

Do something…

Show our Iraq and Syria appeal video PowerPoint slides and host a prayer meeting in your church…
Hold a Secret Screening and raise prayer, awareness and money…

Latest news and articles on Syria…

Click the Syria tag below for a list of the latest articles and news on the country…

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.