In the midst of a devastating civil war, Christian ministries continue to report thousands of Syrians are turning to faith in Christ. Numerous Christian groups and relief organizations are on the scene serving the Syrian war victims, and their work is having a dramatic impact.
Indigenous missionaries are working up to 15 hours a day, seven days a week, to help refugee families, according to Christian Aid Mission. Relief efforts were helped by the September cease-fire negotiated by the U.S. and Russia. For about a week, life returned to normal with businesses operating and children playing in the streets without the threat of bombs and gunfire.
The conflict has claimed the lives of more than 470,000 people since 2011 as ISIS terrorists have battled the government of President Bashar al-Assad. On the eve of the ceasefire, Assad issued a message to opposition forces. “We have come here to give the message that the Syrian nation is determined to retake every piece of land from the terrorists, and to re-establish safety and security, to reconstruct and rebuild infrastructure and rebuild everything that has been destroyed,” he said in footage broadcast by the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency.
“I think this message needs to be directed … to those who bet against Syria in the first days, weeks and months of the crisis and until today,” Assad said. He vowed to take back “every inch of Syria from the terrorists.”
After 45 years of rule by the Assad family, many Syrians find their president to be oppressive.
The cease-fire, agreed to by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, aimed to end the fighting and move towards a political transition after more than five years of war between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebel groups fighting to depose him, as reported by Aljazeera.
Aleppo continues to be the epicenter of much of the fighting. An estimated 250,000 citizens remain there, unable to leave.
Pray for peace in Syria and for God’s protection over the indigenous missionaries.
CNN: Syria: Temporary ceasefire begins amid skepticism
BBC: Syria ceasefire: ‘No civilian deaths on first day’
Aljazeera: Syria ceasefire comes into effect under US-Russia deal