Friday, June 24, 2011

VOM speaks with Mission Network News about Syrian crackdown

VOM’s Greg Musselman spoke with Mission Network News (MNN) about recent pro-democracy uprisings sweeping the Middle East, North Africa and now Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is attempting to stamp out the protests cropping up across the country, but as soon as security forces squash one center of rebellion, another springs up, says MNN. The Syrian government is allied to Shia Iran and Hezbollah, but the nation’s population is 90 percent Sunni Arab. This adds to fears that sectarian violence comparable to that in Iraq could arise in Syria.

Musselman told MNN, “When you look at the situation that’s taking place in Syria, you can draw some parallels to what has gone on in Iraq. I think the consequences could be similar for the church.”

He went on to say that the crackdown is resulting in a slaughter. As a result, another refugee crisis is arising.

Many are fleeing to Turkey. As of Tuesday, there were nearly 9,000 Syrians in Turkish refugee camps. For Assyrian and Chaldean Christians that fled Iraq, they now have to face fleeing once again, said Musselman.

The regime’s violent response to public outcry is only fuelling the people’s protests. Syrian Christians, however, are keeping a low profile in the political and religious ring and with good reason.

There is a lot of fear that Christians will be attacked, because they’ve experienced it before,” said Musselman. “When violence begins to spin out of control, the Christians become a target.”

Christians have been attacked and killed and their churches burnt to the ground. However, Musselman noted that the mass movement of people also means new opportunities. “People that have been locked under Islam... have come to Christ as a result of being out of their countries.”

You can help by praying!
  • Pray God would embolden, comfort and encourage all of Syria’s Christians with His presence.
  • Pray for new believers who have recently come to Christ and must now learn how to deal with the opposition.

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