Syria: God at work inside the war zone

At the end of last year, Open Doors had a brief opportunity to enter Aleppo, Syria. We met with a 22 year old Christian living in the city, Badr*. Living inside a warzone, Badr told us what life is like and how he is seeing God at work amidst the horrors of war.

“The people need us,” is the defiant answer he gives when asked why he had not fled like so many others. “We help the people with food, but we also comfort them, listen to their stories. It is so important that someone listens.”

In Aleppo, combat zones between government troops and opposition forces are changing daily. They are marked only by street signs and soldiers. He is one of the few young Syrian Christians who decided to stay in the city, despite the situation.

Aleppo, Syria

Power supplied by generators in Aleppo, Syria

Since the war started, over 250,000 people have been killed. Recently Badr’s brother was called up for compulsory military service.  He is now in hiding, unwilling to be thrown out onto the frontline.

Badr shared the story of a young man from his church. “New recruits get little training and are sometimes within days sent to fight. They often are the first victims that fall in the fighting. Not long ago a young guy who just had converted to be a Christian in our church was called to the army. He went (and) a week later he was dead. He carried his Bible with him. The army returned his Bible to his parents, (who) both became Christians. His death at least served for this.”

Another story Badr shared was that of a family with a daughter and her fiancee engaged to be married. They were in the midst of preparing for the wedding. “The young man had to go to the army too. He was killed shortly after he started serving. Imagine the grief in the heart of his fiancée.”

“I visited a mother. She had lost in one day her husband and her six children because of a rocket in their home. What can one say? I could listen to her story. She expressed that life hadn’t any value to her anymore.” Badr looked away, overcome with emotion. “It was good to visit her and be there with her.”

Kefas*, Badr’s friend told us how their church is serving the community. “Our church is helping some 1700 families. It is hard work. Our church saw some 60% of the members leave the country. Many fled to Lebanon, others to countries in the West.”

Syria is full of stories like these. Many members of the church go and visit families, providing comfort and encouragement. Through local churches across Syria, Open Doors is supporting around 9000 families each month. Families can receive food or hygiene packs, living expenses, medicine and cold weather packs.

Islamic State occupation in Iraq and Syria

Islamic State occupation based on information from local contacts, and news sources.

These stories show how God is working and bringing hope, even through pain and horror. The violence and destruction in Syria is extreme, please consider giving to Open Doors work in the region.

Pray

  • Praise God for the work of Christians like Badr, willing to stay and serve the church in whatever way they can.
  • Pray for Badr and his church as it will take daily renewal from God to have the strength to continue loving like this.
  • Pray for an end to the conflict in Syria, what is impossible for us is possible for God.

Give

Please consider giving to the ministry of Open Doors as we serve the church in Syria and around the world.

Engage

Follow our blog for the latest stories. Like our Facebook page for updates, and subscribe to our prayer watch to pray with us.

*Name changed for security purposes.

3 thoughts on “Syria: God at work inside the war zone

  1. Pingback: 10 life-changing moments from the persecuted church in 2015 | Open Doors Australia

  2. Praying and will continue to pray for Syria and the Middle East region. For God promise in His word 2 Chron 7v14-16
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. Amen!

    Like

  3. I can’t find words to say..My heart goes to Syria especially for children..Please know that someone is crying every night and every time she remember the children of Syria…what their going through.That even in my dreams..faces of Syrian children is all I can see.God help them!

    Like

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