- Leader: President Bashar al-Assad
- Population: 19 million (794,000 Christians)
- Main Religion: Islam
- Country fact sheet
As the civil war goes on, Christians continue to be abducted, physically and sexually abused, and forced to flee their homes.
Persecution against Christians in Syria mainly comes from Islamic extremists. While the self-proclaimed Islamic State holds less territory in Syria than it did before, they still control some areas and carry out revenge attacks in others. Other Islamic extremist groups also operate within Syria.
Church leaders are a particular target, especially those from traditional denominations as they are often recognisable by their clothing. Despite this, many church leaders have chosen to stay in Syria to serve their communities – many of those who remain in Syria are the most vulnerable, such as the elderly and those in need of medical care.
- That God will guide those involved in peace negotiations towards positive agreement and that good decisions will be made for the future of the country
- That displaced Christians will be encouraged by the provision of relief aid from their brothers and sisters in Christ
- For God to rejuvenate their faith through pastoral care and biblical teaching.
How Open Doors helps
Through local church partnerships, Open Doors is strengthening the church to take advantage of the many opportunities for ministry, even in the ongoing crisis situation. This includes:
- Partnering with the local church to care for and provide relief aid to tens of thousands of displaced Christians, and starting all kinds of rehab programmes for them
- Distributing Bibles, Study Bibles, Children's Bibles, New Testaments and Christian books
- Providing discipleship and leadership training for church leaders and youth leaders
- Trauma counselling and debriefing
- Building bridges between Christian denominations by sponsoring conferences to which all denominations are invited.