Syria (MNN) – Unrest continues to leave Syrians without access to basic needs. Samuel* from Redemptive Stories says that despite hardships the church has seen growth.
Syria is currently in its 13th year of civil war. Displaced people, airstrikes, sanctions, and protests are commonplace. An earthquake earlier this year further complicated life for many and has left them struggling to survive.
Many people have moved to cities like Damascus because their homes were destroyed in the unrest or bombings ten years ago. Despite the passing time they have been unable to rebuild. The inability to move forward is exacerbated at least in some part by the continued economic distress fueled by sanctions.
Samuel says, “The thing with sanctions is oftentimes people are the ones that suffer not the leaders. So they’ve not really been able to hold leaders accountable, particularly Bashar Assad and others that were involved in this bombing.”
Unfortunately without proper distribution of aid or the benefit of international commerce, sanctions have left many Syrians struggling. Even things like electricity are often undependable or scarce.
“Most of the country still only survives with about four hours of electricity per day,” Samuel notes. “So in the heat that we’re experiencing this summer temperatures [are] well over 100 degrees. 105, 106 pretty consistently, all the way up to 110 in some areas. Just living in that ongoing, oppressive heat on top of all the other aspects of what they’re already facing, people are just desperate and suffering.”
A Growing Church
However, even in these grim circumstances the church has seen growth. In many ways the church has been able to support their neighbors in ways that they couldn’t previously. Christians are helping displaced fellow Syrians and God is using these interactions.
Samuel says, “Churches are being established because of the fact that these our brothers and sisters are responding to the needs of their neighbors.”
However life in Syria is not easy and there is much need for support and prayer from the global church.
“Our brothers and sisters that are responding to the needs of their neighbors, they themselves are suffering as well,” Samuel states. “So we need to pray that God would alleviate the economic hardships that have been placed on them. Whether by the sanctions, whether by the earthquake, whether by Corona, whatever it might be — that God would intervene on their behalf. Then on top of that, we also need to be praying they would have strength to continue to be faithful, continue to press on, to continue to love their neighbors, even in the midst of their own personal exhaustion and struggles.”
(Header Photo courtesy of Ahmed Akacha on Pexels)