Thursday, October 31
Syria has always been a puzzle to the household of God, ever since the Almighty coined its capital, Damascus, “the city of my joy!” (Jer. 49:25 KJV).In its modern history, the government of Syria allied itself with two anti-Western powers: the Soviet Union, from 1956 until the fall of the U.S.S.R.; and Iran, from 1979 until present. Yet during these two periods, and because of its secular type of government, the people of Syria enjoyed a religious freedom unmatched elsewhere in the Arab world. Churches flourished. The hand of God used that very setup—though an unfavorable geopolitical reality for the West—to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ beyond the Iron Curtain and through the even tougher curtain of the Ayatollah’s Iran. During the U.S.S.R. era, Russian military and their families bought tens of thousands of Russian-language Bibles from the Bible Society bookstores across Syria. These bookstores have also helped meet the demands of Iranian tourists and visitors for Persian Bibles.
Today the long-enjoyed religious freedom of the Syrian people, especially Christians, is in danger. This danger comes in the form of Muslim terrorist insurgents funded and armed by foreign powers and regional allies. Although these insurgent groups operate under deceptive slogans of democracy and human rights, Syrian churches condemn their tactics and activities. In recent months, these terrorists have killed hundreds of Christians (and non-Christians), burned churches, and terrorized innocent civilians. The Syrian churches are all advocates of human rights and of democratic reform—but only through legitimate means.
—Rev. Adeeb Awad, pastor, National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon
Let us join in prayer for:
National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon: Rev. Samuel Hana, moderator, Rev. Fadi Dagher, general secretary • The Armenian Orthodox Church • The Orthodox Apostolic Church of Antioch and All the East (Greek Orthodox Patriarchate) • The Syrian Orthodox Church • Jinishian Memorial Program
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Rev. Mary Serovy, FDN
Rev. Rodney Sewell, BOP
Debbie Sexton, PMA
Let us pray
Lord, we unite with the churches in Syria to ask that your will, and not the will of outside forces, would prevail for the Syrian people. We ask that you would bring peace to the city of your joy and that you would empower your church in Syria to maintain a strong witness in these turbulent times. Amen.