Syria (MNN) — Syria’s unresolved civil war turns ten this month. The humanitarian fallout is unfathomable.
At least 400,000 Syrians have died since 2011; that’s more than the entire population of the Bahamas. Over 13 million need some type of humanitarian aid – a 20-percent rise in the last year, the United Nations reports.
Even so, hope remains. “All this persecution and killing [from] ISIS, the crisis of the government,” a Christian leader begins, describing Syria’s many woes.
“In spite of all of this, God is strengthening the Church.”
Although we cannot name him for security purposes, this believer serves with the Program for Theological Education by Extension or PTEE. This ministry works with and through local churches to provide theological education for Arabic-speaking Christians. Learn more here.
“The most students and groups coming to us each month [in the] last 10 years [came] from Syria. We are amazed how, under all [these] circumstances and all these difficulties, the number of the home groups and Bible study is growing,” he says.
Syrian Christians eager to learn
Widespread COVID-19 restrictions went into effect around the same time this leader was packing his bags to board a plane for Syria.
“I was planning to visit our leaders in Syria but I couldn’t go because of this problem of COVID-19. So, I did this through Zoom meetings [instead],” he says.
“Many church leaders were really encouraged by meeting on Zoom.”
Not even a global pandemic can hold these believers back.
Although pandemic restrictions stopped believers from studying together or meeting in person for most of last year, “they didn’t stop worshipping, didn’t stop studying the Bible. They stayed connected through media,” the leader explains.
Praise God for believers’ commitment to study and grow so they can lead their people into a deeper relationship with Him.
“Pray that the Lord would revive the Church [and] strengthen the pastors and church leaders in Syria,” he requests.
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Omar Ram/Unsplash.