Day 26: Syrian Refugees
Series: 30 Days of Prayer for Muslims and Christians – 2016 Ramadan
Presented in American Sign Language, no voice interpretation.
Until recently, Syria was a stable country. The agricultural and petroleum economies provided a sufficient income for most of the population. Children were able to go to school and people obtain higher education. Under the authoritarian regime of Assad, ruthless actions were taken against political enemies, but religious and ethnic minorities enjoyed a peaceful coexistence with the Sunni Muslim majority.
Ever since the Arab Spring, a civil war has sprung up in 2011 that has only grown worse year after year. More than half of its population has had to leave their homes and embark on a journey into the unknown. Many fled the country to relatives and friends. More than 4 million are now living in neighboring countries where they are increasingly perceived as a heavy burden. Many manage to survive on handouts and children often have no access to education. No one knows what the future will hold for them.
This uncertain journey out of Syria has also made it possible for Muslims to escape a tightly controlled social environment, enabling them to show interest in the Christian faith more openly. The atrocities perpetrated by Islamic State extremists challenge the values of Islamic faith. Many Muslims are open now to invitations to churches who offer them practical love through distribution of food packages, blankets, heating material and counseling. God continues to work in midst of the Syrian refugees. In some areas, churches are full of new believers, in others there is openness and many opportunities to talk about faith.
– Pray for the end of the conflict in Syria.
– Pray for the millions of refugees and their physical and psychological needs.
– Pray that the church will respond wholeheartedly to help and support refugees with both immediate and ongoing needs as they integrate into their new homelands.