Syrian Christians are part of one of the oldest churches in the world. They used to be one of the major political forces in Syria , until ISIS started coming after Christians because they believe in an all Islamic state, also known as a Caliphate.
BBC explains, “The founder of the Baath Party, which has ruled Syria since 1963, was a Christian, and Christians rose to senior positions in the party, government and security forces, although they are generally not seen to have any real power compared with their Alawite and Sunni colleagues.”
Even though much of the persecution has been eradicated, Christians in Syria still face intense persecution because of their faith. The Muslim majority is forcing them to pay special taxes, and some even threatened their extended family.
Open Doors reports, “As recently as the 1920s, Christians made up an estimated 30 percent of the population in Syria. Now, believers make up only about 10 percent (2 million believers). Christian persecution remains very high, with the main source being Islamic oppression. Syria is 15th on the 2018 World Watch List, with a persecution score of 76 out of 100.”
Many Christians left Syria, fearing the radical groups that took advantage of them during the more recent civil war.
BBC explains, “Hundreds of thousands of Christians have been displaced by fighting or left the country. Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Laham said last year that more than 1,000 Christians had been killed, entire villages cleared, and dozens of churches and Christian centres damaged or destroyed.”
Russia has vowed to help rebuild Christian churches in Syria and other places of worship according to Newsweek.
Open Doors is helping Christians by providing counseling, and one local church has taken initiative to provide food for others who are in need. They’re also providing vocational training and other programs.
Pray for the remnant Christian church in Syria to grow in the midst of the difficulties.
Pray for no more Christians to flee, but instead be light in the midst of the darkness.
Pray for Open Doors work in Syria, that persecuted Christians would be encouraged.
Pray for an end to the deadly Civil War.
Newsweek: Putin Vows to Rebuild Christian Syria, Restoring Churches and Bringing Home Refugee
BBC: Syria’s Beleaguered Christians
Open Doors: In Syria, God is Resurrecting the Lazarus Church-Giving it New Life