814,000 Christians live in Syria. They make up 4.5 per cent of the total population of 18.3 million. As the conflict in Syria continues, Islamic extremists still have control over areas of Syria. Anyone who doesn’t conform to their extreme brand of Islam is a target to these groups. In areas controlled by these Islamic extremists, Christians are forced to pay protection money, must follow a strict dress code and dietary rules, and cannot express their faith publicly. In other areas of Syria, Christians, including the leaders of historical churches, are targets for abduction, often for ransom.
Believers from Muslim backgrounds face pressure from their families, as leaving Islam is seen as a huge source of shame. Despite the challenges they face, Christians in Syria are shining as a light in the darkness of war. Open Doors’ local church partners are providing vital aid for 12,000 vulnerable families.
St Paul’s is supporting Open Doors financially to help the remaining believers and to help them reach out into their local community. Through their local church partners, Open Doors supports the church in Syria with Bibles, training, relief aid, trauma care as well as helping displaced Christians to rebuild their homes and livelihoods.