ISIS continues to plague Syria, and Christians there especially need prayer for protection as a key city has recently been re-captured.
While the Islamic State’s reign of terror in the Middle East appears to be contained, the situation is still volatile for Christians and other enemies of Islam. ISIS activity still threatens Damascus, the Syrian capital despite international media reports indicating its waning influence (see here and here).
ISIS fighters recaptured the pivotal town of Al-Qaryatain at the beginning of October 2017, a place known as a symbol of peaceful coexistence for Christians and Muslims in Syria. During ISIS’ last occupation of al-Qaryatain in 2015-2016, an estimated 270 Christians were kidnapped and the Syriac Orthodox Church published a list of 21 Christians known to be murdered by ISIS. As of October 21st, the Syrian army regained control of the town from ISIS jihadists. However, during those three weeks that ISIS held control, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 116 civilians were killed.
Importantly, al-Qaryatain is currently a key launching point for any future attack by ISIS on the ancient city of Damascus. Hundreds of thousands of Syria’s Christian minority have found relative protection inside Damascus’ security cordon.
Al-Qaryatain is also only a little more than 100 miles from the school for children of refugees just over the border in Lebanon run by Smyrna’s newest ministry partner.
According to UN reports this year the ongoing flood of refugees into Damascus has caused the population to expand from 2 million to 4 million. An attack by Islamic militants against Syria’s capital of Damascus would be devastating. Pray that God will intervene on behalf of Christians remaining in Syria and that He thwart the brutal campaign and wicked strategies of ISIS against His Church.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” — Matthew 5:14-15
11/9 — Pray for the remaining Christian minority in ISIS-controlled Al-Qaryatain. Pray for liberation from ISIS fighters and protection from the onslaught of heavy airstrikes in Syria which have killed thousands of civilians.
11/10 — Pray for the rebuilding process of Christian communities and churches in Syria. Ask God for His grace and wisdom for Christians returning to their war-devastated homes and communities in Syria. Pray for the school for children of refugees in the region who educate and share the Gospel with both Christians and Muslims who have lost all their worldly possessions.
11/11 — Pray that God will fill Syrian Christians with divine courage & grace from the Holy Spirit for this spiritual battle.
11/12 — Pray God’s hand of protection for the Christian families living in Syria where ISIS continues to strike terror.
11/13 — Pray that Christians in Syria will look daily to Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith.
11/14 — Pray for Syrian believers to claim the powerful, matchless name of Jesus, restoring their awareness of His dear presence, while facing extreme persecution.
11/15 — Pray for rich fellowship and increased unity among the Church in Syria, especially in the rebuilding process.
11/16 — Pray that Syrian Christians will choose to walk in the Light of Jesus and shine brilliantly as beacons of the hope of our Savior.