Stories

How Your Support is Keeping Syrian Christians Alive

June 11, 2014 by Open Doors in

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God is using Syrian Christians to advance His Kingdom in the midst of intense persecution

As persecution has intensified in Syria over the past three years, Open Doors teams have been at work to bring hope and encouragement to those suffering for their faith. In spite of the risk, many Christians have felt called by God to remain in Syria and minister to their persecutors.

God is doing amazing things in Syria. Through your prayers and support, you are not only helping to keep Syrian Christians alive, but empowering them to reach out with the love of Christ. Read on to learn about some of the ways in which you have served and strengthened Syrian Christians in partnership with Open Doors.

The capital of Syria, Damascus, has a storied history when it comes to persecution. It was on the road to Damascus that Saul, a persecutor of Christians, encountered Christ and chose to follow Him… and became the apostle Paul.

Today-more than 2,000 years later-as the civil war rages on in Syria, Christians in Damascus and across Syria continue to face intense persecution at the hand of extremists. Thousands of Christians have been displaced and are in need of lifesaving aid to stay alive. Yet, inspite of these hardships and the increasing violence, many Christians are choosing to stay in Syria to share the gospel message with their persecutors.

These are leaders like Pastor Bayan whom Open Doors is working with to minister to Christians and other Syrians who have been displaced, providing food, shelter, water and other emergency aid… even to those who have persecuted them.

A Powerful Witness

“We Christians who have chosen to stay in Syria have seen much violence, but have also seen many miracles,” says Pastor Bayan. “There was one day that we were passing out food and clothing to those in need. We were about to share the gospel message, when a Muslim extremist, shouting fanatical statements, approached the church.”

Pastor Bayan and the other church leaders were certain this man was there to attack them, so they began to pray.

“After praying together, we felt compelled to invite him in for a meal, so he could hear the gospel message,” said Pastor Bayan.The Christian leaders knew it was a risk to allow this extremist into the church, but they felt God was telling them to do this. Throughout the gospel presentation they kept a close eye on the man as he sat and listened to the sermon.

This bold step of faith was used by God to work a miracle that day. As Pastor Bayan went on to exclaim, “At the end of the sermon, this extremist decided to dedicate his life to Christ!”

This is just one of many such encounters where God has moved through persecuted Christians in Syria to see Muslims… even extremists… come to know Christ as their Savior. Through the courage, faith and boldness of believers like Pastor Bayan and other leaders, God is doing a powerful work across Syria.

So thank you for your support, which is not only keeping Christians alive, but is allowing them to share the gospel message, even with their persecutors. The result is more and more Syrians are coming to Christ, in spite of the violence and warfare surrounding them.

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