The situation in Syria, ranked No. 3 on the World Watch List, continues to change, but there is still the reality of extreme violence and displacement. The latest United Nations figure shows that 3.25 million Syrians are refugees in the surrounding countries. Non-official figures are higher. More than 6 million Syrians are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Estimates of Open Doors, based on contacts with church leaders inside Syria, are about 40 percent of the Christians have left Syria since the start of the civil war over three years ago. Depending on where new battles are taking place, new waves of refugees are reported.
The United Nations recently announced it is reducing food support to the refugees and displaced because of lack of contributions of donors and donor countries.
Open Doors is working with partners inside Syria to provide food packages, shelter, medicine, blankets, trauma counseling training and training Syrian Christian leaders in leadership and relief work. Open Doors reports it is partnering with churches and other Christian organizations to help 9,000 families each month.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is also going out. An Open Doors worker in Syria says: “We hear church leaders saying that the churches are not empty. New people are coming to church, interested in the gospel and comforted by the message. We hear of people coming to Christ.”
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.