SANTA ANA, CA (ANS) — Open Doors is responding to immediate and urgent needs in northern Syria after Turkish troops invaded last week.
David Curry, CEO of Open Doors, says Christians in the region are especially vulnerable during the chaos of war; the organization is assessing the situation on the ground and providing needed assistance.
“Open Doors partners are on the ground in Northern Syria, providing relief and rehabilitation to those afflicted,” said Curry.
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“Immediate relief includes emergency food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and hygiene kits to those left without access to basic provisions. Long-term, Open Doors partners will continue to help the affected communities rebuild by equipping them with educational support, vocational training, home repair, and trauma counseling.”
Open Doors’ World Watch List, a ranking of the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians, ranks Syria at No. 11, and Turkey at No. 26. Christians living in both countries suffer from Islamic oppression.
Syrian Pastor and partner of Open Doors in Al Qamishli, “George,” reports that Christians are leaving in large numbers. “Each day there are more than 10 buses taking people from all religions or denominations towards other cities like Homs and even Damascus,” said Pastor George.
He continued, “We as a church had a meeting on Saturday (October 12) to decide if we should stay or leave. About eight families have decided to leave–a group of about 40 people. We will support whoever decides to stay by all means possible.”
Curry went on to request immediate prayer for the region. Ways to pray:
** Pray for a swift resolution and effective intervention by the international community.
** Pray for protection for all those caught up in the fighting, particularly courageous pastors and church workers providing immediate assistance and pastoral care.
** Pray for the future of the church in Syria: that it will not just survive but be a light in these dark times.
For more than 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted.
Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit www.OpenDoorsUSA.org
The author of this story, Michael Ireland, is a self-supported media missionary with ANS. Click here to support him as a missionary journalist.