Syria - Children praying - Photo: VOMC

Syria

Before Syria's civil war began in 2011, persecution was not a major concern for the country's Christian minority which was primarily located within the capital city of Damascus. Yet even though evangelism was legal prior to the civil war, visas for missionary work were rarely granted.

During these recent years of civil unrest and upheaval, members of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) terrorist group, and other Islamic jihadists, have sought to wreak further havoc. As a result, violence has escalated to an alarming degree; and, in the midst of it, Christians have been specifically targeted.

The country's rebel militias are comprised of radical fundamentalists with a blatantly anti-Christian agenda, often focussing their attacks on churches and Christian schools. An example of this was evidenced in 2012 when a tragic attack took place targeting the elementary students of a Christian school. Our VOMC country contact further reported on the tragedy, explaining that as the children were lining up to get on their school bus, a rocket whistled overhead before suddenly exploding, killing and injuring many of them. Because of this unwarranted extreme violence, and the resulting mass exodus of believers, the population of Christian Syrians has decreased dramatically.

Country Information

Population
19,454,263 (July 2018 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Arab (50), Alawite (15) Kurd (10), Levantine (10) other (15)

Religion (%)
Islam (87), Christianity (10), Druze (3)

Leader
President Bashar al-Asad

Government type
Presidential republic; highly authoritarian regime

Legal system
Mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law (for family courts)

Ssource: CIA World Factbook.

Pray for Syria

Pray that the Lord of hosts will intervene in Syria to "preserve all who love Him" and "frustrate the way of the wicked" (Psalm 145:20; Psalm 146:9). Ask that the Spirit of God will subvert the rebellion of the militant groups so the "will for peace" shall indeed prevail over "the will for war." May the Lord provide for Syria's churches, ensuring that they are adequately equipped with the necessary ministry tools, resources and workers to continue faithfully serving and ministering as lights in the darkness (Matthew 5:14-16).

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Syria News

  • Christian Refuses to Turn Over Christian School
    Rockets launched by the Sham Legion - Photo: Wikipedia / Qasioun News Agenc
    The Sham Legion is a group of 19
    Islamist rebel groups in Syria.
    Photo: Wikipedia / Qasioun News Agency (cc)

    Radwan Muhammad is a Kurdish teacher and headmaster for a Christian school in the city of Afrin in northern Syria. He was ordered by the Sham Legion (Faylaq al-Sham) -- a coalition of Sunni

    ...
  • Christians Blocked from Refugee Camps
    Refugee Camp
    Refugee camp
    Photo: Voice of America

    Christians who have fled war-ravaged areas of Syria are facing continued persecution while trying to seek refuge in camps set up in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere. A substantial number of them are being blocked by United Nations officials when attempting to enter

    ...
  • Christians At Risk
    Hovsep Bedoyan
    Church leader Hovsep Bedoyan
    Photo: Middle East Concern /
    Middle East Council of Churches

    When American troops pulled out of Syria, and Turkish troops moved in to establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria, there were understandable concerns about the safety of the people living in this area. Turkis

    ...
  • Turkish Offensive Raises Concerns for Christians
    Devastation from the war in Syria.

    As the Turkish military, along with allied Syrian rebels, continue their operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, Christian communities are concerned about the repercussions that may follow. While the campaign is not religiously motivated, believers in the region face particular vulnerabi

    ...