Syria (MNN) — The Syrian government rejected the Arab League's call for President Assad's resignation, defending their brutal crackdown on rebels as an obligation. In response, Arab nations actually appear to be stepping down.
Gulf Arab states announced yesterday that they are withdrawing from the Arab League's observe mission in Syria, reports BBC News.
At this point, it seems unlikely that the Arab League or any individual Arab nation will try to step in again, says Tom Doyle, Middle East/Central Asia Director of E3Partners.
"[Because] Syria is such a strong Arab nation, I think the other Arab nations risk isolation from Syria. In that area, they all need each other," explains Doyle. "Eventually, probably what's going to happen is it will all be a lot of talk for nothing."
Months of talk have lifted the hopes of rebels in Syria, but those hopes are dying. "They feel forgotten. They expected a coalition of nations to come against the dictator, much like happened in Libya, and it hasn't happened." And Doyle says it likely won't.
The bloodbath has cost at least 5,000 lives in the last 10 months. It seems unlikely that any nation will step in unless it gets much worse, says Doyle. Essentially, it seems Assad will hold onto power unless forced out of it.
It's an interesting position for believers. Although Assad's regime has been violent, the government has laid off Christians as of late.
"Through this revolution, the pressure on believers has let up because I think the government has seen that the church, the believers, are not a threat–they're not trying to overthrow Assad," explains Doyle. "So the pressure that's normally been on them–which has been fairly intense in the last five years–has kind of lessened."
If a rebel-run government were to take over, things could get much worse for Christians. Unsure of what's to come, believers are taking advantage of this interim time to boldly preach the message of Christ.
"We've seen an upsurge in the Gospel. People are desperate; they're frustrated; they have lost a lot of hope. This is prime soil for the Gospel to just flourish." Seeds are being sown, and a harvest of both Alawites and Muslims is growing.
Above all things political, pray for the church in Syria. Pray that believers would continue to boldly proclaim the hope found only in Christ. Pray that Syrians would cling to this truth.