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Lent Prayer - Syria

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Lent Prayer - Syria

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Lent Prayer - Syria

Project(s): 49-890

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria

It is easier to be a Christian in Syria than anywhere else in the Arab world. The Muslim majority shows respect, even warmth, to the Christian minority, who make up some 10% of the population. Some of the churches have a long history stretching back to the first Christian centuries, and Syria has welcomed many Christian refugees from other countries, most recently from Iraq. The government allows Christians a good measure of freedom to practise their faith, and many hold influential positions in the professions and in politics. Church buildings are given free electricity, like mosques.

20110414-Syria-4X3.jpg

Children at a Christian school in Syria assisted by Barnabas Syria

But in their concern to maintain political stability the authorities also subject the country’s religious groups to close surveillance, and activities that are thought to threaten public order are prohibited. In practice this means that Christian evangelism among Muslims, whilst not illegal as such, is strongly discouraged, and some missionaries have been denied permission to renew their visas. Conversion from Islam to Christianity is forbidden by law. A Syrian Christian leader says, “There is freedom to practise your religion, but not yet to change it. You are what you are born into.”

Christian groups that try to share the Gospel run the risk of reprisals. In 2010 the government ordered the closure of ten Protestant churches, although by January 2011 three of them had re-opened. Many Syrian Christians believe that the authorities are trying to restrict Christian activities that they consider extreme, specifically evangelism. Various church camps were also cancelled, and some foreigners serving Protestant churches were told that their visas would not be renewed.

Give thanks for the freedoms enjoyed by Christians in Syria, and for the country’s generous welcome to those fleeing persecution in other countries. Pray that these liberties will be maintained, and that Christians in positions of prominence will be good witnesses for Christ. Pray that the close monitoring of Christian worship and other activities will be relaxed, and especially that Christians will be given the freedom to share their faith with their Muslim neighbours and that Muslims who choose to become Christians will be allowed to do so. Ask the Lord to protect all Christian converts in Syria.

Barnabas Aid projects in Syria include:

This article is taken from

Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2011” - order your FREE copy here.

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Daily prayer

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  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 18 hours ago

  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

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