Sunday, February 2, 2014

World Watch List | Syria

Each year Open Doors publishes the World Watch List. The World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. First of all, the list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in the entire country. The focus is on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons.

The newest World Watch List was released earlier this month. Each Sunday I will post information on one of the countries listed to provide information about the situation that Christians in this country face as well as to encourage us to join together and pray for those facing persecution around the world.

Will you join me in praying for persecuted Christians in Syria? 

Pray for Syria

Syria

Hanna is a Christian woman living in Damascus with her husband and two young daughters. In spite of the war, she and her family have chosen to remain in Syria, where she works at a local school. She shares what daily life is like in Damascus:

It's snowing in Damascus now. It's rare that it snows. We don't have much to warm ourselves; there is a lack of oil and gas, and there are electricity fallouts that last for hours and hours. Yesterday, I was at home with my daughter and we just wore all the clothes we could find. But we don't complain, because we think of our fellow Syrians that are living on the streets now. It breaks my heart if I think of the children that fled with only their summer clothes on them. We would love to go there and help them, but traveling to the area they live in is far too dangerous.

Christmas was not a time of celebration for us this past year. How can we celebrate when people around us are suffering? We had some special prayers in church, but we didn't have any decorations. Having Christmas decorations outside the church would have provoked the terrorists to attack us.

It has been quiet the last week; we only rarely hear the sounds of bombs anymore. It is what we have been praying and fasting for, but I feel strange- I don't know why. It's like this is the silence before the storm, and they are waiting to suddenly attack us.

Last week, I went to the market to get some hats, socks and candy for the kids in our church. Normally we would buy them some games, but toys are way too expensive now. At least they will have something to keep them warm, that's more important than toys in this situation. I want to give those gifts to the children and hope that they will know that Jesus still loves them, no matter what's going on around us. Please keep praying for us.

*Names, photographs and other information have been changed for security purposes
 
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Map of Syria

Quick Facts on Syria

Rank: 3
Previous Rank: 11
Leader: President Bashar al-Assad
Government: Republic
Religion: Islam
Population: 21.8 million (1.3 million Christians)
Source of persecution: Islamic extremism
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