Pray with us . . . For Believers in Syria in an increasingly hostile environment for Christians
The Washington Post reports that when radical Islamists tore down a cross and hoisted a black flag above a church in the northern Syrian city of Raqqah last week, their action underscored the increasingly hostile environment for the country’s Christians.
Although Syria is majority Sunni Muslim, it is one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse countries in the Middle East, home to Christians, Druze, and Shiite-offshoot Alawites and Ismailis. But the country’s conflict, now in its third year, is threatening that tapestry.
While the primary front in the war has pitted Sunni against Shiite, Christians are increasingly caught in the line of fire. The perception that they support the government — which is in many cases true — has long made them a target of rebel groups. Now, Christians say radical Islamist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an affiliate of al-Qaeda, are determined to drive them from their homes.
“The Christian community in Syria is stuck between two fires,” said Nadim Nassar, a Syrian from Latakia who is director of the Awareness Foundation, an interfaith charity based in Britain. “One fire is a corrupt regime, and everybody agrees there needs to be a change. And on the other hand, there’s a fragmented and diverse opposition on the ground who can’t control jihadist forces coming from outside the country.”
Syria is not the only place in the wider region where Christians are being targeted. Coptic churches in Egypt have been attacked, and Pakistan last week experienced the deadliest church bombing in the country’s history. The militants who attacked a mall in Nairobi last month singled out non-Muslims.
Please read the entire Washington Post article, October 3, 2013
Photo caption: Youssef Badawi/EPA
Please join The Joshua Fund in praying for the people of Syria as the atmosphere is increasingly hostile toward the country’s Christians. Please pray for peace in the region, as well as safety and the basic needs of the people, for food, water and shelter amid the violence that increasingly is targeting Christians.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in these war-torn areas to be bold and courageous in spreading the love and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We join you in praying for the Church to be a light and place of hope, forgiveness and reconciliation in the epicenter.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 12:11