Syrian Christians Facing Uncertainty During Turmoil

by | Apr 28, 2011 | Charisma Archive

syriamapOngoing turmoil in the embattled nation of Syria means its Christians face uncertain futures.

Easter weekend was one of the bloodiest since the riots and anti-government demonstrations started in mid-March, leading some churches to cancel Easter services. The Associated Press reported 120 deaths last weekend across Syria and a total of 450 deaths since the unrest began.

Rahid, a Syrian church leader, says: “Christians are fasting from all food from today until Saturday. Please join us in prayer and fasting. We want peace in our country. Please pray for our government and our police and army, that they can maintain the peace.”

Syria-watchers remain concerned about the effect that ongoing protests and uncertainties will have on the Syrian church. Syria’s Christians, who number approximately 1.5 million, comprise 8 to 9 percent of the total population. They are members of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant denominations.

Compared to some other Middle Eastern countries, Christians under the regime of President Bashar Assad have had relative freedom. The Open Doors 2011 World Watch List ranked Syria No. 38 of 50 worst persecutors of Christians. For the most part, the church of Syria is not hidden or secret. The believers there are known openly as Christians, and most people know where the churches are located. However, the evangelical church often faces problems when it reaches out with the gospel.

“The current situation in Syria is very uncertain for Christians in the country,” says Rany, an Open Doors co-worker. “Under Assad the Christians have had a relatively stable situation in which they can operate, and a change of government means probably a less favorable situation.”

Rany sees potential problems in the country if the current government is forced from power.

“Syria’s minorities include Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Christians, Druzes, Kurds and others. That is potentially an explosive mix,” he says. “I see a possible clashing of these minorities in which I think Christians will be possible victims of much violence.”

Most believers have not spoken out in the face of this societal unrest.

“Because of the fear of a worsening situation, churches are silent in the midst of the anti-government protests,” Rany says. “They are not involved in the protests against the president. They don’t want to attract attention to themselves.

“Where all the protests and violence in the country will lead to for Christians is not certain at all. That is why we are trying to take advantage of the existing liberty in the country. Right now we are trying to distribute literature and offer training to Christians. It is still possible to do this, but we don’t know for how long. Last year Open Doors offered training seminars about persecution.

“Sadly, some of our courses, which were scheduled to start, had to be cancelled for now. The church that would have hosted the course opted to postpone it. The church thought that some of the participants would not come because of the current situation.”

According to Rany, Syria needs prayer now more than ever before. “The problems in Syria did not start as a religious conflict, but it is changing to a religious one. Fanatic Muslim groups want to make it religious and are creating problems to make it go that way.”

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important commandment (Mark 12:28–31). The apostle Paul writes that love is the...

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose,...
Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]