The Risk of Borderline Christianity in Syria

Aug 7, 2019

A Reuters article by John Davison caught my attention with a praise-worthy headline: “Christianity grows in Syrian town once besieged by Islamic State.” Even more exciting—the growth is taking place among Syrians who are converting to Christianity from Islam!

The north-Syrian town of Kobanî borders Turkey. After living through the violence of the jihadists in recent years, many left Islam and sought to learn more about Christianity.

“After a number of families converted,” the article states, “the Syrian-Turkish border town’s first evangelical church opened last year.” Omar Firas, the church founder, is quoted in the article explaining, “After the war with Islamic State people were looking for the right path, and distancing themselves from Islam. People were scared and felt lost.” The church is pastored by Zani Bakr, from Afrin, who converted in 2007.

The article was written in April—before an increase in attacks against Christians in the area—and the build-up of Turkish troops along the Syrian border put many Christians in a state of distress. In just this past month . . .

  • Islamic State claimed responsibility for a car bomb that injured eight people outside of a church in Qamishli, a Kurdish-held city in northeast Syria. The same day in the city of Afrin, eleven people, including children, were killed by a car bomb in a residential area.
  • A 60-year old Christian school teacher was abducted from her village, brutally and repeatedly raped and tortured over a nine-hour period, and then stoned to death by Islamist militants. Members of her church found her body the next day.
  • Six different Christian villages along the Turkey-Syrian border were set ablaze—destroying homes, crops, and nearly 8000 olive trees. Arson is a commonly used method of attack by rebels in the region.

I'm writing to ask you to partner with Liberty Relief International as we . . .

  1. Pray for Christians in Syria, especially those on the border with Turkey who face more fighting and more attacks by forces intent on eradicating them from the region…and the face of the earth. Pray for their new-found faith in Jesus to strengthen and carry them through.
  2. Give to help us send much-needed relief packages to Christian families that are already displaced due to the arson attacks, and those who are facing a growing threat of attack.
  3. Share these updates with as many people as possible to spread the word of the growing need for prayer for new brothers and sisters in Christ!

Friends like you—who stand with us through prayer, sharing urgent requests and giving generously—are truly a lifeline for our hurting brethren around the world.

Our Christ-centered partners in the field in Syria can provide practical humanitarian assistance to meet this urgent need, but we need your help...

Your gift of 35 dollars provides one relief pack with enough supplies to last one family for a month.

For Christians in Syria who have lost everything at the hand of jihadists, your prayers and support are a vital lifeline. Many have been refugees in their own land for several years, living like nomads as fighting sweeps through their land, displacing them again and again.

When you partner with LRI, your compassionate generosity helps Christians and others who face violence, torture, false imprisonment, kidnapping, rape or even death because of their faith. With your help, our partners in the field in can also offer trauma counseling, literacy training and job training for people starting over; restoration assistance to rebuild churches and homes that have been destroyed; and provide Bibles, Bible study materials and discipleship training for new believers.

Your generous, tax-deductible gift today of 35, 70, 140, 525 dollars or more will help relieve suffering by providing emergency food, water and shelter for men, women and children enduring such harsh persecution in Syria and beyond.

Please continue to pray for Christians who are suffering violent persecution for their faith all over the world. Thank you in advance for standing with LRI to help meet these urgent needs!

God bless you,

Mathew D. Staver
Founder and Chairman