Syria (MNN) — More than 3,000 Christians in Syria are homeless and living in the hills of Northern Syria following a recent attack on the city of Kessab.
According to reports, up to 80 Christians have been killed and more than 600 families are displaced. Both the United States and Russia are condemning the attacks which were carried out by Islamists linked to al-Qaeda, who crossed into the region from Turkey.
This area had been relatively peaceful since the civil war began three years ago.
Vice President and Middle East expert with E3 Partners Tom Doyle says, “The terrorist groups are accumulating along the coast which is a strong area for the Alawites. They’re trying to break that off. Obviously that would be to their advantage to gain the ports.”
President Assad is Alawite Muslim. Doyle says, “We’ve heard that as many as 11 major terrorist groups [are] all vying for control of who’s going to be leading this Sunni Muslim front against the government, which they hope will get rid of Assad and his government, and they hope to be in power.”
Doyle says Armenian Christians pre-date the Muslims in this area. Despite that, it’s dangerous for them. “If you do not name Islam as your religion and you’re a Christian, they may come after you.”
According to Doyle, centuries of conflict have never been resolved. “It’s been horrible for the Armenians. But it’s been great to see that there have been churches having prayer time for the Armenian Christians.”
Syrian forces are trying to retake the majority Christian city along the Syrian-Turkish border.
Doyle says prayer is needed. SOS message are coming in across the region. “It’s just getting unbearable. They don’t want to move. Many Christians have fled. They want to stay there. They want to bring Christ to this hurting nation,” says Doyle.
It’s very difficult right now, says Doyle: “Children being kidnapped, women being taken for wives for terrorists, shootings in the streets, indiscriminate killing that happens all over. Syrian Christians are asking and pleading for the body of Christ to pray for them.”
How can you do that? “A good way to do that is to sign up on the 8thirty8 Facebook page and get updates from the region. Pretty much daily we’re going to be having updates from areas where there’s lots of persecution,” says Doyle.
Join the 8thirty8 prayer effort. You can also support E3’s refugee relief project by clicking here with your generous donation.