Syria (MNN) — Ten years ago today, the Arab Spring movement sparked massive protests in Damascus, Syria. Demonstrations called for “a Syria without tyranny,” Middle East Eye reports. Syrian Christians sought change too and received an answer they didn’t expect.
“I was talking with some Syrian believers recently, and they said [at that time] they were praying for a revival in their country. They were praying, ‘Lord, do what You need to do to bring a revival’,” Tom Doyle of Uncharted Ministries says.
“They weren’t expecting a war; they didn’t think that was a possibility. But when it happened, it hit fast and furious; everything changed in Syria.”
Anti-government protests led to military crackdowns, which escalated into civil war. A decade later, over 13 million people in Syria need humanitarian aid to survive. More than five million Syrians live in neighboring countries as refugees.
Refugee children cannot imagine returning to Syria, while parents inside the war-torn land are afraid to leave their kids unguarded. “[There has] been a lot of kidnapping throughout Syria. People are desperate and they need money, so kidnapping happens,” Doyle says.
“The heartache is immeasurable. But even in that darkness, God can use it and turn desperate hearts to Him.”
Since the beginning of Syria’s conflict, Doyle has been in constant communication with Gospel workers throughout the country.
“There is a harvest in Syria despite the negative news and the horrible scenes that we have seen for the last decade. Syrians are coming to faith in Christ; there’s a new openness to the Gospel,” he reports.
“One pastor we know in the Damascus area says about 30-percent of his congregation on Sunday mornings [is] from the Muslim background. [They] are practicing Muslims, but they’re looking for answers.”
Pray for continued church growth as more Syrians encounter Christ’s truth. Ask the Lord to protect His followers as they bring the Gospel to former ISIS territory.
In header image, residents pick up after aerial bombings in Azaz, Syria, on August 16, 2012. (Wikimedia Commons)