Syria (MNN) — For over a week now, hundreds of protestors have taken over the streets in a southern Syrian province. Recently, they even shut down the government building of President Bashar al-Assad’s ruling party.
Syria’s already-staggering economy has been crippled by international sanctions and recent fuel shortages, prompting the latest protests.
Samuel with Redemptive Stories explains, “The economic situation just even since the earthquake has worsened. The crisis has almost doubled on basic needs for the people and that’s why you’re seeing these protests. They continue to subsist by the generosity of their family and friends outside the country who send money back for them.”
The big question is: Will these protests actually prompt change?
Some in Syria are hopeful as several chants by the protestors echo the anthems from the Arab Spring. However, many more are doubtful since this isn’t the first time Syrian protestors took to the streets without any change, and it likely won’t be the last.
Samuel says, “I don’t know that there is a path forward that is through revolution. I think the only path forward is one that includes Bashar al-Assad. But again, I don’t see any way for any sort of Western government to back down on these sanctions. The reality is that because of things like what happened 10 years ago (August 2013 chemical attack), they can’t. They have to try and work towards holding him accountable. But meanwhile, he is not going to step down. He’s not going to back down.”
However, there is hope to be found in Syria. The area with the protests has a high Druze population, and Syrian Christians are reaching the Druze with the Gospel.
“Even in the midst of all this suffering, God’s Church is still moving, it is still growing, people are coming to faith, and mostly because of the fact that they don’t see any hope anywhere else,” says Samuel.
“Their hope is now being found in Jesus Christ — not in the day to day economics, not in the revolution, not in politics, but in Jesus Christ…and we are seeing people turn to Him.”
Pray for Syrians to be bolstered by eternal hope today.
Header photo of Syrian flag. (Photo courtesy of Joel Bombardier/Flickr: https://rb.gy/9yl9c)