Syria’s war: civil, regional, or world?

By July 18, 2012

Syria (MNN) — Daily attacks. Piles of bodies. Scurrying refugees. There's still no end in sight for the human tragedy taking place in Syria. In fact, things may just be getting started.

Analysts have long been suggesting Syria's regime-versus-rebels battle is a civil war. The Red Cross now has actually officially declared the conflict a civil war. But it could be turning into something much greater.

Tom Doyle with
E3 Partners returned from Jordan earlier this week. While there, he was mainly meeting with some of the 130,000 Syrian refugees who have fled to Jordan for solace. Speaking with Syrians who had just recently escaped with their lives only solidified the severity of the conflict for Doyle, a Middle East and North Africa expert.

Doyle says with other nations in on the conflict, things could be taking an ugly turn.

"You've got Iran sending arms, money, aid–everything to the government to keep the Bashar Assad regime propped up. Russia has been supportive. China even said that they were supportive of Assad. So you've got that side that's strong," Doyle explains. "Then, you've got the Sunni Muslims that are backed by other Arab countries. If the United States would get involved in this, it at least would be a regional war, but this could even spiral into a world war."

With Syria potentially a world war away from ending its disputes, the distribution of humanitarian aid — and, more than that, the Gospel — is crucial.

E3 is responding in Jordan with blankets, food, clothing and the saving message of Christ. It may seem inconsequential in the light of civil and potentially world war, but after being in Jordan, Doyle says it's clear that the work has been absolutely transformative. Even some radicals are changing their ways as a result.

"We do know of some Sunni Muslims that had been involved in radical activities: now that they're in Jordan and away from those terrible front-lines, they have ended up praying to receive Christ as Savior," explains Doyle.

It's probably best that believers stay out of the Syria mess politically, Doyle says, but we do need to pray for peace. And in the end, it's stories like this that truly explain the significance of what e3 and other Christian groups are doing:

"One woman — I'll never forget this woman — said, ‘When we fled Syria and went into one of these refugee camps, we retreated like we weren't human,'" says Doyle. The woman went on to say, "'But the Bible people came.' (She called Christians the Bible people.) ‘They showed us love, and they gave us food, and they gave us everything we needed for our children. Now we have this great relationship with them.' And this woman looked at me (and she's fully covered as a Muslim woman), and she said, ‘I want you to know: I love Jesus now.'"

Many friends of Mission Network News have already committed to support victims of this crisis financially or through prayer. If you feel led to help e3 continue reaching out, click here.

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