Syrian pastor: People are coming to faith, despite civil war and ISIS

Report Date: March 21, 2016

The Church in Syria is alive and “more active than any time before” despite the ongoing civil war and Islamic State continuing to tighten its grip on the country, a church leader has told Christian Today. Pastor Edward Awabdeh, who leads the Alliance Church in Damascus and oversees more than 20 other churches across Syria, said “the Lord is really touching hearts at this time of crisis. People are learning how to come humbly to Him, and we thank God.”

Since the outbreak of civil war in 2011, an estimated 11 million Syrians have fled their homes – some taking refuge in neighbouring countries, others becoming internally displaced. At least 13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance within Syria itself, and 320,000 people have been killed since the conflict began, including nearly 12,000 children. Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad continue to battle rebels opposed to his rule, in addition to ISIS militants, and a ceasefire that came into effect on February 26 is said to be fragile. Syria is a country on its knees.