Persecution Update, February 2017: Syria

Syria is currently ranked as the sixth worst nation in persecution of Christians. The situation there is very complex because of warring Islamic factions, and those who have left Islam to follow Christ face extreme persecution, including murder, kidnappings by ISIS, and forced slavery. Because of this, approximately 50% of the Christian population has fled the country, leaving behind their homes and businesses. The remaining Christians are conflicted about whether to stay or to leave. In Aleppo, the Christians who stayed are seeing extraordinary opportunities to reach Muslims with the Gospel. Bombs are exploding around their church, but one pastor said in spite of that, they are conducting mercy ministries to 2,000 families—half of whom are Muslims. Muslims are shocked to see Christians caring for them, which often causes them to abandon their prejudice against Christians. A pastor said, “I think God is giving us double grace.” Another believer said, “For the first time in history, Muslims are coming to us. The only thing we have to do is tell them the Good News.” Please intercede for special grace for our suffering brothers and sisters in Syria who are courageously following Jesus.