Please pray for the embattled city of Aleppo, Syria. On Oct. 28, rebel forces began an offensive to break the government forces’ siege of rebel-controlled Eastern Aleppo. Trusted sources in the Christian neighborhoods in Western Aleppo confirmed that fighting was ongoing. An Open Doors source reported hearing many strong explosions, and that the rebel groups appear to have shelled the airport of Aleppo before starting their offensive. About 30,000 Christians still live in Western Aleppo, an area that is controlled by the Syrian government. Before the war there were more than 200,000 Christians in Syria.
Even before this recent wave of fighting, World Watch Monitor interviewed a nun from Aleppo who described the psychological damage of living in the city as “a pain greater than physical pain. Aleppo is a city broken by death, destruction and violence,” said Sister Annie Demerjian during a visit to the UK to raise awareness of the desperate conditions for many living in Syria’s second city. The warring parties within Aleppo, she added, are like “monsters devouring one another.”
Speaking about the remaining Christians in the city, she said, “The church community is now so small that we all know each other. Everyone is afraid. We [all] lost people we knew.”
Daily life is “sometimes normal,” she said, but there is a constant struggle for food, clean water, electricity and fuel. “Many people live without light,” she added, as they cannot afford electricity because of the “exploitation [of] traders.” In one part of Aleppo, she reported finding an elderly couple sleeping on the floor because they had sold their bed to provide fuel for a few hours of heating.
Father God, full of mercy and grace, shed Your light of hope on the city of Aleppo, so long suffering in the crossfire between government and rebel forces. Jehovah-jireh, God who provides, we bring before Your listening ear the plight of those in need of food, water, and warmth. We pray for the provision of these needs. Jehovah-rophe, God who heals, pour Your healing balm on those who suffer, body and soul, that they might be Your agents of healing to the hurting world around them. El-Shaddai, Pour out Your blessing on Your church in Aleppo, indeed in all of Syria. Lift them out of the ashes of hopelessness that they might reflect the beauty of Christ to a land sinking in the quagmire of spiritual darkness. In the name of Jesus, who hears the cries of our hearts, and answers our prayers. Amen.