848. Revisiting Syrian Christians

The situation for Christians in Syria is still serious.

IT’S WORTH CONSIDERINGvoice of the martyrs 1

A few years ago the Voice of the Martyrs published a special update on what was happening to Christians while the crisis in Syria continued. Since it’s still going on, I have decided to highlight some excerpts from that report:

“It was so hard living in a place where terrorists were coming from other countries,” Liena says. “These men were saying, “We will kill everyone who does not believe what we believe as Salifis and strict Muslims.” Samer and Liena are leaders in a boldly evangelical church that has continued to meet during the civil war; the church is growing rapidly even as the violence escalates. Staying in Syria was not an easy decision for Samer and Liena. The couple knows, as do all Christian in Syria, that if their country falls into the hands of the radicals, Christians will be given three choices: convert to Islam, leave the country, or die.

Muslim rageYet they believe God has called them to be His light in the country as long as He permits. They’ve even taught their children this hard truth. One evening, they gathered their children to explain the reality of the situation. Liena pointed to the front door and said, “Look at this door. One day, God may allow someone from those terrorist people…to come in this door. They will have a big beard and very threatening faces; maybe they will have swords. They will put their swords on our necks, and you may see some blood. They will hurt us.

“We will have pain, but don’t worry about this pain. We will close our eyes, and we will open them again in heaven, and we will be with Jesus, singing with the angels. Just tell these people. ‘I forgive you, and Jesus loves you.’”

Despite all the dangers, the Christian churches in Syria are continuing to spread hope. One church in a major city is actually holding twice as many services now as it did before war broke out, and most are standing-room-only. One area that saw only about twenty believers 18 months ago has seen 70 Muslim families turn to Christ amid all the bloodshed.

Jesus crossA former mullah who had witnessed Muslim radicals of different sects kill each other while shouting, “Allah is great!” wondered What kind of God are we worshipping?  He decided to visit a church where he learned about the God who doesn’t demand killing and actually sacrificed His own son for his sake. He was drawn to Jesus and decided to follow Him.

AS I SEE IT

HImagine living with the threats Syrian Christians face every day and telling your children about the terrifying bearded men who may soon come to your door. (These are the same bearded men our country is supporting with your tax dollars.) Also, try to imagine being in their shoes and wondering if their fellow believers in America will do anything to help them. I’m afraid that too many of us see the violence in the Middle East as something an ocean away that has no connection to our lives. The truth is that if nothing is done to address the source and cause of the violence, we are watching a preview of what’s coming to America.

Our concern, however, should not be for our future, but their present.

To learn more about what Christians are facing in Syria, watch this brief video. While the video was posted a few years ago, the reality of what is shown still applies. If you are moved to help VOM’s work in Syria, call 800-747-0085 or donate online at www.vombooks.com/2013update. Christians in that part of the world desperately need our prayers. Will you go to the Father on their behalf?

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Check out my YouTube channel to get my biblical analysis of current events and my suggestions for surviving and thriving while the world falls apart. Click the link or enter edrodgersauthor in the YouTube search box.

 ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

We hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
~Aesop, Greek slave & fable author


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