Apr 23, 2014 |
Inside Out 301: Syrian Christians
What does the current political upheaval in Syria mean for the country’s Christian minority? How might believers in other countries pray for their brothers and sisters in Syria?
“You have a situation where you don’t have any heroes on either side,” says Dr. David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, which, for almost 60 years, has supported persecuted Christians. “You have a dictator who has been cruel in how he has managed to put down a resistance, and then the folks on the other side—the rebels—are Islamists who are seeking not just to institute just a religion, but a regime. And caught in the middle are the Christians.”
The bloody conflict in Syria between President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the rebel forces has displaced over 4 million people within Syria. Another 1.6 million have fled into neighboring countries. Since March of 2011, over 93,000 people have died and estimates are that almost 7 million people right now are in great need.
The toll on all Syrians is immense and Christians, Curry says, seem to be paying an especially high cost. “You have Christians being forced out of their areas. You have Christians who are being murdered--their possessions being taken,” Curry says. “It’s a very brutal situation in Syria right now.”
That said, Curry is encouraged by God’s Church in Syria.
“It’s a vibrant church. People are coming to know the Lord; they’re open in ways that maybe they weren’t before. We think that’s a positive,” Curry says. “The goal of Open Doors is always to help the church sustain in these places--not to help them escape, but to share their faith and live their faith in peace.”
Our full Inside Out conversation with David Curry lasts less than nine minutes. You can listen by clicking on the LISTEN or DOWNLOAD icon above.
You can learn more about persecuted Christians in Syria and in other countries on the Open Doors USA website.