Syria (MNN) — An examination of Syria’s complexity explains, at least in part, why the war is unresolved a decade after its beginning. See our coverage of Syria’s conflict here.
Both sides of the central conflict have international backing. Turkey is waging a side war against Syrian Kurds for territory, and the Islamic State won’t go away. A new report claims if the turbulence continues, another six million people could be forced to leave by 2031. Last year, for each Syrian who returned home, four more were displaced.
The good news? Displacement creates Gospel opportunities.
“Ten years ago, the number of believers that were coming from a Muslim background or Druze background or Alawite background was extremely small; you could probably count them on your hand,” David* from Cry Out Now Ministries says,
“Today, there are thousands of Syrians from different backgrounds who have come into the Kingdom and are making their own disciples. This is something to give praise to the Lord for!”
Just as ocean tides ebb and flow, the tides of war progress and recede with each victory or defeat.
“Whenever the tide is in, it’s covering up a lot of things. But whenever the tide goes out, what’s covered up gets exposed,” David says.
“It’s also an opportunity for treasures to be exposed. We’re starting to see some of those treasures. Today, both inside Syria and outside of Syria amongst Syrian refugees.”
The treasures of war
First, David and his team celebrate unexpected opportunities for Gospel growth within Syria. “[One] brother recently completed some training with a fairly large group of Syrians who are all from a different non-Christian background. They want to learn how to share their faith and make disciples,” David says, speaking in general terms for security purposes.
“This is happening inside Syria, in a part of the country where, frankly, ten years ago it was extremely difficult to [reach].”
The second “treasure” comes from a neighboring nation that shelters Syrian refugees. The Syrians in this country are “from a part of Syria where, before the war, it was very, very difficult for anybody to go in to share the Gospel,” David describes.
People from this religious minority group encountered Christ while living as refugees in the neighboring country. Now, “they are now forming teams and sending them back to Syria, specifically to go and make disciples amongst their friends and relatives,” David says.
“This is a part of the country where, even if the war did settle, it would probably still be very difficult for outsiders to get in there.”
Lastly, Syrian refugees are reaching their communities for Christ. “The Lord is [moving] their hearts to reach out to the other refugees who are like them. These are opportunities that [were] a dream more than ten years ago. Yet this is happening,” David says.
“There are thousands of Syrians in the Kingdom who were not in the Kingdom before the war.”
*–Name changed for security purposes.
Header image is a screenshot of Prayercast | Syria.