Peanut Gallery: “Loving your enemies” is literally being put to the test by Christians in Syria.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-45 NKJV
Context: Over the past 20 months, the civil war between President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and the Free Syrian Army has caused approximately 30,000 casualties, mostly civilians, according to several reports….
The cities of Aleppo and Homs have become especially dangerous for Christians. “A lot is being destroyed in Aleppo,” one of Open Doors’ contacts in the city reports. “Extreme violence is being experienced in the last few weeks. You can see the results of it in the old city and in other neighborhoods and surrounding villages. There is a lot of destruction. We see that their apartments are easily confiscated by the rebels to be used for snipers,” the spokesman continues.
“The Christian community is the only group that doesn’t fight back or doesn’t protect property with guns. So when the rebels search a place to stay or to use for their battle, they choose the houses and apartments of the softest target – the Christians.” (Open Doors)
The City of Homs is a major industrial center, and with a population of at least 652,609 people, it is the third largest city in Syria after Aleppo to the north and the capital Damascus to the south. Its population reflects Syria’s general religious diversity, composed mostly of Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims and Alawite and Christian minorities. The city boasts a number of historic mosques and churches and is close to the Krak des Chevaliers, a world heritage site. (Wikipedia)
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.
■ For 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.