Syria (MNN) — Eight years ago today, the so-called “Day of Rage” protests garnered a harsh reaction from Syria’s government. Next came months of unrest, and then Syria’s civil war.
More than 560,000 people have died since then. Roughly half of Syria’s population can’t survive today without emergency aid. Some elements of Syria’s conflict are ending – the fight against Islamic State terrorists, for example. But, the wider conflict in Syria is far from over.
Samuel* of Redemptive Stories explains, “What I’m seeing more and more is that alliances are actually just shifting…those who would’ve been against [Syrian President] Bashar are working now together, whereas in the past they would not have. And, I think that is going to be the next season of continued fighting.”
Ephesians 6:12 states that our battle is spiritual, not physical. In a similar way, the battle for Syria is not against a specific group but against an ideology.
“When you talk about [groups that follow] fundamental Islam – al Qaeda, ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood, all of those – are an interpretation, a legitimate interpretation, of Koranic and Hadif readings,” explains Samuel. “Therefore, it is an ideology that is not able to be rooted out with violence.
“Ultimately, whether it’s al Qaeda or ISIS, it’s going to pop up again in some other form.”
Peace may be a rare commodity in Syria for years to come. Regardless, Samuel and others who work with Redemptive Stories are making sure hope is easy to find.
Introducing a different message
While their daily tasks vary, Redemptive Stories is a relational ministry operating in the Middle East. They reach out to people who need a reason to hope.
“We continually have to communicate that there’s something better out there for them,” Samuel explains.
“There’s something better, and that better thing is a relationship with Christ.”
Redemptive Stories’ work is not limited to Syrian refugees. They build relationships of trust with people from all walks of life. “As those relationships are built, then we’re able to share about why we believe God listens,” he continues.
“He listens to their prayers that they’ve specifically asked. When that [happens] then there’s more questions that come up. When those questions come up, we get to share about why we believe what we believe and what it means to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.”
Is there someone you know who could use some encouragement? Try telling them about the hope you have in Christ.
“We get so busy in our tasks or even our own individual family, and we don’t truly know how to love our neighbor anymore. We don’t know how to truly care for them and spend time with them.”
Header and story images are screenshots of Prayercast: Syria.