Open Doors, 28 May 2020
744,000 Christians live in Syria, about 70,000 fewer than in 2019, many having fled because of the risk of being displaced by persecution and hardship.
Conflict has abated in parts of Syria, but radical Islamic groups still control areas. Church leaders are particularly vulnerable to abduction. Muslim Background Believers face pressure from families and communities – leaving Islam is seen as a huge source of shame.
Believers in north east Syria are vulnerable to attacks from Islamic militants among the Turkish army.
Jina’s husband Rober was kidnapped for his faith in 2013. She and her young son, Abraham, are still waiting for him to come home. Another man, kidnapped and later released, told Jina that Rober refused to convert to Islam: “Rober refused and said, ‘I have my God and that’s it.’” Christians are kidnapped for ransom across Syria.
Despite continuing challenges, Christians are shining a light in the darkness of Syria. Centres of Hope are providing vital short-term aid for thousands of vulnerable families and also offer long-term support, including trauma care and business microloans.