|Please pray for Christians in Syria. |
(Photo: No Lands Too Foreign/Flickr)
Thousands of Syrians, including large numbers of Christians, have fled from their homes, especially in the Homs and Hama governorates and more recently Damascus and Aleppo. There have been reports of the targeting of Christians by both government and opposition sides.
Several prominent Syrian Christians have been killed recently, including Defence Minister General Dawoud Rajha (assassinated in an attack on the National Security Offices in Damascus on July 18) and Brigader-General Nabil Zougheib (assassinated along with his wife and son at their home in a Christian neighbourhood of Damascus on July 21).
Most church leaders point out that any such targeting is not religiously motivated but is either politically motivated or is criminal activity for economic gain.
However, many Christians fear that radical Islamist groups are becoming more influential, and that this may lead to increased hostility towards Christians and other minorities. They fear that they may become more vulnerable to criminal activity, including kidnapping-for-ransom incidents.
Throughout the ongoing unrest, Syrian Christians have faced a dilemma of allegiance. They regard the current regime as having been a protector for many years and fear that any replacement regime is likely to prove more hostile. Yet along with others in Syria, they know that open allegiance to either the government or to the opposition could bring retaliation from the other side.
- Pray that Christians will know the protection of the Father, the inner peace of Jesus, and the daily guidance of the Spirit.
- Pray that the bereaved, wounded and traumatized will know the comfort, presence and healing touch of Jesus.
- Pray that, in the long term, there will be greater religious freedom for all citizens.
- Pray that those who oppress Christians in Syria may experience repentance and salvation, just as Paul did (Acts 9:1-19).