Despite the ceasefire agreed by UN negotiators, the situation in Homs is miserable and the outlook for Christians remains desperate. Ninety per cent of Christians have fled the city to Damascus and the surrounding villages, although a few pastors have stayed on and continue to hold services.
Reports are being received that Christians in Syria are being threatened just for being Christians. One Christian said, "The last months there has been some violence against Christians, apparently targeting them because of their religion. We heard of flyers being distributed, saying that Christians should participate in the protests or later 'pay the price.'"
Many believers are finding strength in their faith. They try to keep their attitude positive and trust that God has an answer and will bring peace again. "The church is praying non-stop," commented one of the pastors in the capital. "What will happen next? Only God knows the answer, but the church is definitely standing in the gap, praying."
Christians wonder what will happen if a new government comes to power. Echoing the questions on many people's lips one Christian asked , "In Iraq hundreds of thousands of Christians left that country due to all the violence targeting them. But where will a Syrian exodus lead to? Which country will welcome hundreds of thousands of Christian refugees?"
Open Doors and its partners are working on the ground over the next three months to provide emergency relief to desperate families who have fled their homes. Relief packs, trauma counseling and other provisions, including a family Bible, are being distributed through local church networks based in Damascus, Aleppo and other centers.
Father, we lift up Christians in Syria who are left in desperate circumstances, praying for an end to the killing, bombing and kidnapping and for peace to come to this land. We pray for the thousands of Christians who have fled their homes, that You will provide them with shelter, food and everything they need for life. We especially lift up the church leaders that You would grant them Your strength and wisdom to those who have remained in Homs; may they be a light to their communities. In the name of Jesus who is the light of the world, Amen.