FALLS CHURCH, Va. (ABP) – Many Christians have fled Syria as a result of public demonstrations and violent government crackdowns in the Middle Eastern country over the past several months, officials of the Baptist World Alliance reported Sept. 14.
BWA leaders said fear and tension have caused many families to flee to rural areas or to emigrate, especially in areas where children have witnessed daily shootings. The violence is taking a toll on businesses, making it harder for adults to earn a living.
The leaders said Baptists have remained engaged amid the hardship and turmoil. "The Baptist church in Syria is actively pursuing its mission, visiting families, sharing the message of the gospel, distributing Scripture, as well as distributing relief packages and medications as needed," according to a report BWA leaders received via Lebanon.
Syrian Baptists requested prayer "that the Lord may bring peace and that He may preserve Syria from this trial that we're currently going through." They also are praying that "a sense of responsibility may be awakened amongst believers that their lives may witness to the grace, peace and love that we have in Christ."
Syrian believers asked that prayers be offered for "ongoing meetings focused on resolving the issues in a nonviolent manner;" the strengthening of new believers; the provision for needs of the church and believers; protection; and for "ministries of compassion that are currently underway."
"We place our lives and families in the hands of God," Syrian Baptists told the BWA.