Daily he sees those queues. People lining up, waiting for bread or other essential items. It made Ayoub*, staff member of our local partner in Syria think of Psalm 88.
In March 2011, the spark for civil war was lit, leading to devastating human loss, destruction and displacement. This preceded an economic crisis only deepened with international sanctions. Last year, the global pandemic brought yet more death, grief, disruption and economic hardship, followed in the autumn by wildfires nationwide.
It’s a sombre anniversary. Ten years ago, on Tuesday 15 March 2011, civil war broke out in Syria, wreaking havoc across the nation and increasing persecution against Christians. Within days of the incident that sparked the conflict, a baby by the name Michel was born. Now aged ten, he has grown up listening to stories of a Syria he has never known. Here we share his story, your role in it and, more broadly, the monumental support you’ve given the wider Syrian church in the last ten years.
Seven years ago, Rober was kidnapped for his faith whilst travelling on a bus. He remains missing and life continues to be very difficult for his wife Jina and son Apo. Alongside the awful uncertainty of whether Rober is still alive are the challenges of living in a country beset by ongoing conflict and, more recently, Covid-19.
This International Day Of Prayer, we are asking that you pray for Syria and Iraq as the churches share the love of Christ with his community amidst violent threats and COVID-19.
What does the cross mean to you? In Iraq this is a question they ponder every year in a feast they call ‘the day of the cross’. For centuries Christians here and elsewhere in the Middle East have celebrated their Christianity by putting illuminated crosses on top of their houses.