The Syrian civil war began as a popular uprising in 2011, with demands for increased political liberties and economic reforms. However the roots of the conflict are deeper and more complicated, and include class conflict, rural versus urban divisions, and repressed political liberty. The Syrian opposition is increasingly “Islamizing” and the civil war is more and more taking on the form of a jihad against the Syrian government. In the conflict, all Syrians are suffering greatly, but some groups are in a more vulnerable position than others. One of the main features of Syria’s Christian population is its combined ethnic and religious identity. The geographical concentration of Christians in strategic areas of the country that are vital to both the government and the opposition’s war efforts is an important factor in their vulnerability, as is their alleged support for the government
Pastor Samuel* has left Aleppo. After five years of war, a time of constant pressure and violence, the church leader who has been partnering with Open Doors throughout this time was forced to leave his city after ISIS threatened to kill him and destroy his church. He now serves the displaced Syrian church in a Western country.
Of an estimated population of 17 million in Syria, 11 million have either left the country or been internally displaced by the civil war.
Today, March 15th, marks 5 years since the beginning of the Syrian war. According to the BBC, over 250,000 Syrians have lost their lives in this armed conflict, and 11 million have been forced from their homes.
Join with us to pray for refugees throughout the Middle East facing this conflict daily, and please consider giving to help Christians affected by ISIS today:
Islamic State issued a statement on Monday, February 22 announcing the release of the remaining 43 Christians who had been taken hostage about a year ago from villages along the Khabour River in northeast Syria.
Being present, visiting Christians where they live and encouraging them in their homes and churches. These are some of the things Brother Andrew, the founder of Open Doors, always tried to do. Presence ministry is still an important part of Open Doors’ work. Recently, one of our colleagues was able to visit Syria: