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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