Islam’s war against Christians and other non-Muslims in Syria continues as Turkish Muslims besiege border cities and threaten death and mass destruction.
In northwest Syria near the border with Turkey, the city of Afrin was once was known as a safe haven for Assyrian Christians and other minorities. In March, Afrin was overrun by Turkish-backed forces which have since not given up control of the city.
“Afrin was untouched by the war going on all around us,” a resident of Afrin told CBN News. “We were a safe place in the middle of our war-torn nation.” That was until the Turkish-jihadist conquest forced the dispersion of Christians and other minorities from the city. Turkish air raids also destroyed important Christian archaeological sites dating back to the Byzantine Empire.
Jihadists allied with Turkey are hunting down religious minorities to kill them in Syria’s northwest, Christian activists say. “Turkey is using hardline jihadist proxies, including Islamic State and al-Qaeda militants, to eliminate the presence of Kurds and other ethnic and religious minorities along its border”, activists said.
One humanitarian worker who spoke via satellite phone with fleeing Christians reported, “The jihadist militants consider Yezidis ‘infidels,’ while there have been announcements made that if you kill Christians, you will go straight to paradise.”
Churches in Afrin issued pleas for help back in January when the impending invasion of Islamic militants became apparent. One of Smyrna’s partners in the Middle East is currently engaged in the ministry of care and provision to hundreds of Syrians who, by God’s grace, were able to flee from the sheer horror occurring in their country. The need is great to provide physical and spiritual food for thousands of Assyrian and Armenian refugees and we pray that they fix their gaze on Jesus who is the True Bread of Life.
“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.” — Hebrews 6:19-20a
5/9 — Praise God that all the suffering experienced by Christians in Syria is preparing for them riches in heaven.
5/10 — Ask God to grant clarity of mind, soberness of judgement, and right thinking to the government leaders in nations that are able to oppose Islamic terror groups in Syria.
5/11 — Pray for suffering believers to live in the truth that their hope and happiness is not dependent on circumstances, but is solidly fixed in the unshakeable victory of Jesus.
5/12 — Pray for Christians in Syria and neighboring countries to be able to work and worship with the confidence that God is sovereign over all of history, and even now He is at work fulfilling His purposes in them and for them.
5/13 — Ask God to enable a spirit of His sincere love and grace in Syrian Christians when they interact with Muslims.
5/14 — Pray for Syrian Christians to don the helmet of salvation as protection against loss of trust in God’s sure promises of our eternal destiny in Christ.
5/15 — Pray for the spread of the Gospel in Syria and a revival among Muslims to turn from their sin and call on the name of Jesus for His salvation.
5/16 — Ask God to further strengthen and equip our partner’s ministry to continue this vital outreach to Syrians.