“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NLT
Chaos Creating Opportunity: On the surface, the news from Syria appears completely bleak. An estimated, “300,000 people are now refugees from Syria, that’s triple the level of just three months ago,” reports Jerry Dykstra from Open Doors. In spite of the traumatic and chaotic circumstance, God continues to draw people to Himself. Dykstra adds, “We hear reports that many Christians are sharing with their Muslim neighbors. So even in the midst of this terrible tragedy, we see the Lord working.”
“The violence has pushed people out of their homes, fleeing for their lives,” a Christian pastor in Syria paints a picture for Christians in the West of the rapidly deteriorating, horrific conditions in the war-torn country. “Many are displaced internally and many others are external refugees living in the most humiliating circumstances, deprived of even shelter, clean water, power, food and medical care.” (Open Doors)
Please join me in prayer…
- For peace in the country and an end to the bloodshed. For God’s rich mercies on the suffering people.
- For the safety and protection of the churches, keeping the church’s faithful witness.
- Wisdom and vision for church leaders.
- For the glory of the living God to dwell in the Church.
- To empower the Church to reach out to the suffering, to share the divine cure of the gospel, and to speak the word of the Lord in all boldness.
- That the evil powers of darkness will be defeated in our land.
- That the values of false religion will be exposed for what they are and despised and rejected by many.
- For many souls to come to know the love and forgiveness of Christ and to enjoy His saving grace.
- That the Lord would send wise, God-fearing counselors to the decision-makers in all parties in the country.
Context: Evangelism in Syria – While conversion of Muslims to Christianity is legally possible, the societal obstacles make it virtually unknown.
The first and foremost reason why Syrian Muslims cannot change their religion is not the passive role of the state, but Syrian society. Father Paulo comments “freedom of religion is virtually unthinkable with regard to the cultural role religion plays in everyday Syrian society.” He opines that the “replacing of one’s current religion would not only mean the complete loss of one’s social ties, including one’s own family, friends, and acquaintances, but maybe also professional position.” From this perspective there are no legal but a fortiori social sanctions. Islamic scholar Jørgen S. Nielsen says in the same regard “the state obviously discourages it because it simply rocks the boat.” (Wikipedia)