Syria (MNN) — It started off as an Urgent prayer request on Facebook. A Syrian pastor and family were terrorized by armed thugs as the country’s civil war continues. Being a Christian in this lawless nation puts life at risk.
Middle East expert with e3 Partners Tom Doyle says a Syrian pastor saw his life flash before his eyes. “Three terrorists came into his house, demanded money. Of course, he didn’t have any. They forced him to sign a statement that he would [get some]; they were going to shoot him.”
That wasn’t the end of the terror. “Then they began mocking him and saying, “‘You’re a Christian, your God can do nothing.’ Then one of the gunmen clicked his gun. It was not loaded when he pointed it, but he said, ‘Your God can do nothing.’ Click.”
The terrorists threatened to kill the whole family if they didn’t come up with the money.
Doyle says this is a twist to the popular kidnapping technique to raise money. “Kidnapping was popular among the terrorist groups. But then they’re stuck with people, and they have to wait for money, and that takes too long now. So they’re not doing the kidnapping: they’re actually finding people, going into their homes, breaking in, holding them at gunpoint, demanding the money right then. That’s the new wave.”
Doyle says the pastor and his family members are safe right now in a safe-house. However, Doyle is concerned. “This is a new phenomenons in Syria, in that people living there are hearing about a new terrorist group weekly. There are so many splinter groups trying to gain control of this Sunni-Muslim front.”
Mission Network News posted an urgent prayer request over the weekend on Facebook and at MissionNetworkNews.org, and thousands of you prayed.
Doyle says Syria is in utter chaos today, but he’s thankful for your prayers. “Thanks to believers here in America for praying. [Syrians] said they could feel it, and they just sensed Christ’s presence in the midst of this terrible situation.”
Christians need a break. Please continue to pray for Christians there. “It is open warfare in the street continually, 24/7.”
Doyle likens it to gang-warfare with major weapons.
What can we do? Doyle says prayer is most important. Join the 8Thirty8 movement on Facebook to keep up-to-date on prayer needs in the region. You can also financially support pastors in the Middle East by clicking here.