*Representative photo used to protect identity
For 45 months Syria has been going through a bloody and destructive civil war. Pastor Samuel (his real named protected for security reasons) has been working in Syria’s largest city of Aleppo and giving an insight into what Christians face every day. About 40 percent of the 1.8 million Christians who lived in Syria before the war have left the country because of the violence and bomb attacks. But many Christians such as Pastor Samuel have stayed to serve their churches and to help the refugees. And be a beacon of light in the gloom.
All over the world Christians are preparing for Christmas and New Year. Before the war, people lived peacefully together here. Every year during the first week of December there came a kind of panic over the people in their preparations for Christmas. When you walked around the streets prior to the war, you would see the decorations of the buildings, shops and restaurants. You would also see many people walking around with their families for shopping; the city would never sleep that month. Every single Christian family decorated their homes with Christmas trees and lights.
We are in mid-December now. During the nights, the city is in an almost complete darkness because there is no electricity. Streets are empty. No crowds around. No families. No kids running here and there. No decorations. No shopping. In fact, most of the stores that sell clothes are closed or empty. There are no Christmas trees in the houses. It is as if we are living in a post-holiday era.
To help refugees in Syria, Iraq and other countries, go to https://secure2.convio.net/ccod/site/Donation2?df_id=6900&6900.donation=form1&_ga=1.73284507.981393229.1378412015
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.