Arab League Summit welcomes Syria back after 12 years

By May 15, 2023

Syria (MNN) — Syria has been invited back to the Arab League Summit this week Friday, May 19. It’s a big deal because the last one Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attended was twelve years ago. Syria’s membership with the Arab League was cut off in March 2011 after Assad ordered crackdowns on protestors that spiraled into civil war.

With Syria welcomed back, the question is: Why now?

For one, the earthquake on February 6 that hit Syria and Turkiye opened humanitarian doors into Syria and strengthened international ties.

Also, Samuel* with Redemptive Stories explains, “Iran and Saudi — who had been in proxy wars probably since the beginning of the Arab Spring, if not way before then — are now beginning to normalize their relationship…. Hopefully, that will begin to dissipate some of the fighting that’s happening through them in Yemen and Syria.”

Abandoned buildings in Idlib, Syria.
(Photo courtesy of Ahmed akacha/Pexels)

Between shortages of fuel and food, international sanctions, and skyrocketing inflation, Syria’s economy is severely crippled. The February earthquake that killed over 7,000 Syrians only worsened the economic crisis.

“The hope is that if relationships are normalized — particularly from the Syrian perspective, even the Syrian Christian perspective — then that will begin to dissipate some of the issues that we’re seeing of the hyperinflation,” says Samuel.

“If we can get to the point where the sanctions are reduced, then [Syria] would really be able to import and export more products, which would then allow the country to economically re-stabilize.

“People’s salaries that used to be in local currency that would provide about $200 to $300 a month now provide $10 to $20 a month. Yet, the same goods are now the same price that they would have been previously.”

With over a decade since the civil war began, Syrians are short on hope. Yet, Redemptive Stories is seeing Syrian Christians persist as a Gospel remnant to their Muslim neighbors — providing emergency aid and the hope of Christ.

In fact, the only way Syrians are able to get by month to month is either through family and friends outside the country sending money back in, or “aid relief that is happening by churches and other organizations,” says Samuel.

Pray for Syrian Christians and churches not to grow weary in doing good. Ask God to use even this hour to soften Syrian hearts with the Gospel.









Header photo of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iranian President Seyyed Ibrahim Raisi meeting with Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Ali Khamenei on May 8, 2022. (Wikimedia Commons)

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