Syria & The Church
Syria and the Church
In recent days, the Syrian refugee crisis has caught the attention and heart of the western world. Although the widespread conflict has been going on for over four years, social media has circulated tragic photos, staggering statistics, and raised our awareness of the overwhelming needs .
12.2 million – People affected and in need in Syria
5.6 million – Children affected by the crisis in Syria
7.6 million – Internally displaced persons in Syria
4 million – Syrians displaced to neighboring countries
So what is the role of the Church?
The most important and impactful act we can do as a follower of Christ is PRAY. The Syrian conflict has displaced over 7 million people within the country and over 4 million in neighboring countries. Many refugees are desperately trying to get to Europe, and some have tragically lost their lives on the way.
- Pray for Syrian families who have been uprooted from their homes, displaced in their own country, or fleeing to neighboring countries for refuge.
- Whether in refugee camps or staying in other host communities within Syria, we can pray for much-needed food, sanitation, healthcare, and education for the millions of uprooted families.
- Pray for believers (both Syrians and aid workers) to be strengthened, encouraged, and to remain faithful in spite of their harsh realities and circumstances. Pray for many opportunities to share Hope with the large number of people who do not know Jesus’ love.
- Pray for the surrounding countries. There are many political, economic, and social ramifications of this long-time conflict. Pray for wisdom in leadership, compassion, and creative solutions.
- Pray for the countries opening their borders to refugees. These families will need housing, jobs, transportation and education. Pray that God would bless these economies and provide for these needs.
When tragedy and war strike, our hearts are engaged and touched, but now is the time we also need to engage our minds and talents to think critically and creatively about how to best help. It make seem that encouraging communities to open their homes for refugees could solve the crisis. However, when we look deeper, we recognize the overwhelming needs of healthcare, education, housing and employment. At times like these, God can use city planners, business entrepreneurs, engineers, educators and social workers to help determine long-term plans and solutions. How has God uniquely wired and gifted you? How might God be calling you to help solve some of the big issues?
As a Church, we want to live a lifestyle of service and generosity and give wisely. Agencies like World Vision (www.worldvision.org) and World Relief (www.worldrelief.org) have been working on the ground with Syrian refugees for a number of years. We also recommend using www.charitynavigator.org to search through financially responsible charities.
- Prayer Points: http://www.worldvision.org/news-stories-videos/syria-refugees-prayer
- Syria History: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14703995