My Sorrow Over Syria

I am sorrowing over Syria.

To date, about 100,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war. Recently, 0ver 1400 people died from chemical weapons. America and the world is wondering what to do. President Obama has threatened attacks because of the weapons.

In America, we rightfully grieve over the 3000 people killed on 9/11. Can you imagine 100,000 deaths? It’s a much smaller country.

Like John Donne said (No Man Is An Island), we are diminished by any person’s death.

My sorrow for Syria goes deeper because of the significance of Syria for the Gospel. Soon after the resurrection of Jesus (possibly AD 30), the Gospel went to Syria (on the day of Pentecost?). By the time Paul came to know Christ (possibly AD 32), there was a thriving Christian community in Damascus.

God called Ananias to go to Paul and lay hands on him so that Paul might receive his sight. Paul preached the Gospel in Damascus and so stirred up the Jews that the believers rescued Paul by secretly letting him over the city wall.

Antioch of Syria soon became the leading Christian city. At Antioch the followers of Jesus were first called Christians and the Holy Spirit called Paul and Barnabas to go from Antioch on the First Missionary journey.

I grieve because of the movement of the Gospel in Syria.

I also grieve because of the present day Christians of Syria. About 10 percent of the population of Syria is Christian. Because of crypto-Christians and refugees from Iraq, many people believe the true number of believers in Syria approaches 15 percent.

These believers are suffering greatly. They have already been targeted by the Muslim majority.

We must pray for the believers of Syria and other nations of the Middle East. Iraq, which once had a sizable Christian community, has few Christians left. They have suffered tribulation. Many have been killed and a large number has moved to Syria.

Historian Philip Jenkins noted the Christians of Iraq had Syria for escape. He asks where the believers of Syria can go?

Let us pray for hurting followers of Christ in Syria, in Kenya, and around the world.

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5 Responses

  1. Holy Father,
    Please protect and comfort our brothers and sisters in Syria, Iraq, Kenya, and other Muslim-dominated, communist, and other oppressive countries. Please provide sanctuary or escape for them. Be a “very present help” to them. And bless those who help or provide aid to them. Help us to know what we can do to support them, and give us courage and motivation to do so. Please touch the hearts of those motivated by hate, that they may be converted to Your redeeming and liberating Love.
    In Christ’s Holy Name,

  2. It is very clear that God is more concerned with hearts than geography or monuments. He defended those who were sold out to Him. The Loyal few did not spare the many or His Holy Places who took Him for granted after Jehoshaphat. There was a need for a wall when after the first sacking of Jerusalem. There will always be a need for a wall and for those behind the wall to understand where they are in Romans 12:4&5 or perish. History is a teacher of that lesson. My call for the Bride is a Call to awaken to the challenge of Hope. When God Remembers, He Acts with His who seek Him in each other.

    Hear my prayer O Lord and let my cry Come unto Thee!

    Russia has taken the moral leadership to protect the Christians and the Tartus Russian Naval facility located in Syria. The present regime has, as you pointed out, been tolerant of Christians. Our memories are short. In the Clinton administration we were protecting the Muslims from “Christian” ethic cleansing.
    The recollection of Bosnia, as the recollection of the Christians in Lebanon, are reminders how loosely labels are placed on peoples without Christ but with tradition. The “shallow” group themselves into camps and perish in by their own conceits. I thank God for a leader who sees a Vision closer to that of Christ with us locally, you. The election of a Jesuit, Francis, to Rome as Pope is a miracle in our time, a wake up call. Interesting times played out for us world wide in real time. To live is Christ, to die is Gain. Thank be to God! Yes, we must all choose each day whom we will serve.


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