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Syria

Syria

World Watch List Rank12
World Watch List Score81/100
LeaderPresident Bashar al-Assad
Population18,924,000 | 677,000 Christians
Main ReligionIslam
WWL Rank in 202011
Persecution LevelExtreme Persecution

Syria’s continuing civil war has increased the persecution of Christians. The unrest, which was beginning to lessen, has been exacerbated by the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Many Christians are still internally displaced or are refugees in other countries as a result of more than a decade of war and rising Islamic extremism.  
 
In areas controlled by Islamic extremist groups, public expressions of Christianity are banned and most churches have been seized or destroyed. In government-controlled areas, this threat is less – but there are still abductions of young Christians, and Islamic dissidents, including ISIS militants, are still active.Overall, there is a slight trend of lessening pressure towards Christians with the shrinking of territory held by Islamic extremist groups. 

WHAT CHANGED THIS YEAR?

Persecution remains extreme in public and private life for Christians in Syria, though there is a slight trend toward lessening pressure for Christians. This reflects the shrinking of territory held by Islamic extremist groups. COVID-19 has exacerbated many existing vulnerabilities in the past year. Public pressure on Christians continues to increase, although Christians faced slightly less pressure from their families and communities.  
  
There were slightly fewer reports of violence, following a trend from the past couple of years, though threats of attack, abduction and forced marriage remain constant.

HOW WE HELP

Open Doors partners in Syria are supporting and strengthening the church through Bible distribution, discipleship and leadership training, trauma counseling, and support and rehabilitation for internally displaced Christians and refugees. 

PRAY FOR SYRIA

Pray for Syrian Christians to be able to return to their homes and families, and for God’s continued restoration for those who have already returned.

Pray for Syrian believers to be the light of hope in Syria, providing comfort and wisdom to all who are suffering.

Pray for the Word of God to saturate the land of Syria and that people will find new joy, strength and hope when meditating upon it.

RECENT STORIES FROM Syria

“War doesn’t have the last word.”

07th Oct 2021

Found in Prayer News

In July of 2012, the Syrian Militia took control of Irbin, a suburb of Damascus, forcing thousands from their homes. Among the displaced was Joseph…

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Your support helped Nazek open a business!

30th Sep 2021

Found in Prayer News

The loss of your house, your job, your home, even losing your husband to depression – for many people, this would be enough to lose…

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Church Among the Druze

14th Sep 2021

Found in Prayer News

The masks are to protect us from COVID-19, but for these churchgoers they serve a double purpose. They conceal their identity. This church is comprised…

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Syrian churches remain beacons of hope after a decade of war

25th Mar 2021

Found in Prayer News

  After 10 years of civil war, the situation for the Syrian people remains a “living nightmare,” says a United Nations chief.   On March…

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Establishing a school in a refugee camp

23rd Mar 2021

Found in Prayer News

When a Syrian refugee camp was established near his home in Lebanon, Jihad knew the church had to help. The Syrian War displaced thousands of…

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Guest post: Meditations on Psalm 88

17th Mar 2021

Found in Prayer News

  Every day, Ayoub* sees queues of people. Citizens lining up, waiting for bread or other essential items. It made him, an Open Doors local…

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Ten Years of War in Syria

17th Mar 2021

Found in Podcast

This month marks 10 years since the war began in Syria. Listen in as we talk about how it has affected Christians there and how…

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“We thought the war would be over after our honeymoon”

12th Mar 2021

Found in Prayer News

What is it like to have your marriage day approach when a nation is heading for war? What are the challenges for a young married…

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Growing up in a war

08th Mar 2021

Found in Prayer News

Michel grows up listening to old stories about a Syria he never knew, about the old house they had before he was displaced with his…

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Reflecting On Ten Years of War in Syria

01st Mar 2021

Found in Prayer News

“Don’t bother, it’s only few days and we will go back to our homes.” Bishop Demetrios Sharbak, head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Safita…

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Daniela’s Christmas will never be the same again.

19th Nov 2020

Found in Featured Story

This Christmas, there will be an empty seat at the table of the Salcedo family. Like so many other children around the world, Daniela (12)…

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Threats change, hope remains.

19th Oct 2020

Found in Featured Story

War. Persecution from Islamic State. Economic collapse. Now COVID-19. Beleaguered Syria faces threat after threat, but no evil can stop the church from being a…

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Update: COVID-19 in Syria

10th Sep 2020

Found in Prayer News

The hospitals are full. There are not nearly enough testing locations. Five months after the first case of COVID-19 in Syria, there are officially only…

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Syria: Crippled by an economic crisis

31st Jul 2020

Found in Prayer News

The events unfolding in Syria currently are leading to an economic crisis.At least one million Syrians are in immediate need of food aid, facing the…

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Is there hope for Syria’s disappearing church?

22nd Jul 2020

Found in Podcast

The church in Syria has been devastated by years of civil war and persecution. Listen in as we talk about why there is hope for…

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Urgent News from Syria

21st May 2020

Found in Featured Story

War has heavily impacted Syria. You can imagine how nine years of war has left many Syrians in dire need. While the war still is…

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Syria Update: Christians in Qamishli Caught in the Middle

16th Oct 2019

Found in Prayer News

Open Doors partners are on the ground in Northern Syria at this time. They are reaching out with help to those who have been impacted…

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Urgent prayers for Syria

14th Oct 2019

Found in Prayer News

Christians need your urgent prayer and support as conflict escalates in northern Syria 40,000 to 50,000 Christians are caught up in the escalating conflict in…

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