Syria’s time limit nears an end

By November 18, 2011

Syria (MNN) — Syria's Bashar
al-Assad has until tonight to comply with the Arab-brokered peace plan or face
suspension from the Arab League and more sanctions.

However, they offered to
send civilian and military monitors to investigate whether or not Syria was
making any attempts at following the accord aimed at ending the crackdown.

The bloodshed from Damascus has cost more than 3,500 lives
since the uprising began in March.

At the United Nations, Germany, France and Britain
circulated a draft General Assembly resolution which endorses the Arab League
demand that Syria halt all violence and withdraw armed forces from civilian
areas, moving to further quarantine Syria internationally as well as in the
Arab world.

The move is meant to isolate the country and force a
resolution to the situation. There have been increasing calls for Assad to step
down. Greg Musselman, spokesman for
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, explains
why they're concerned about Assad leaving. "You have a vacuum of power.
These people that come in, then, can be more ruthless. Everybody is kind of
doing their own thing, and Christians can get caught in it because they're
definitely marginalized."

draws the parallel to what happened post Arab-Spring to Christians
in both Iraq and Egypt. "You have these protests, and
everybody can kind of lock in against one leader or one situation. But once
that person is brought down, what happens?"

Musselman says international pressure might be helpful. The non-binding resolution that the General
Assembly wants to pass has little force.
It calls on Syria to end all human rights violations and the bloodshed
there, to stop delaying the implementation of the Arab League plan, and to cooperate
with an international commission of inquiry organized by the Geneva-based
United Nations human rights council. 

It will likely be voted on next Tuesday. Of those who favor it, several are members of
the Arab League. Musselman says, "When people within those Arab countries see what's going on in Syria, they're very upset about it, and they want
their government to do something. In many cases, the governments are trying to
stay in power and at least show some kind of humanitarian awareness of
what's happening in Syria."

It's a repeating nightmare for some in Syria's borders.
"For Christians from Iraq that have fled into places like Syria, they've
come from the bloodshed and literally being targeted. Now they are in Syria
facing the situation that's going there."
Musselman goes on to say that Syria's 1.4 million Christians could be in the same vulnerable, threatened
position as Iraq's now almost-annihilated Christian community, especially if
the current regime under President Bashar al-Assad loses control.

Believers are still active, though. "There is work that is being done. The
church is being encouraged there. They are getting supplies they need to
continue their Gospel work, but it's a 'wait and see' situation."

Ask God to embolden, comfort, and encourage all Syria's Christians
with His presence. Musselman says, "The Gospel does get a foothold and often
an opportunity that sometimes is not there when people are living in fear and
there's a lot of chaos and violence. That gives the church an opportunity to
share Christ in a powerful way."

Pray that followers of
Christ in Syria will be a strong witness to their family, friends, neighbors,
and their oppressors, seeing the current unrest as an opportunity to

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