Syria

Ancient Syria was a region referred to often in the Bible. In one well-known account, the Apostle Paul cited the “road to Damascus” the largest city in Syria as the place where he had visions that led to his Christian conversion. Today, only 10 percent of the population is Christian, with the large majority being Sunni Muslim. Civil war has defined Syria, in many ways, for the last decade. The UN estimates that 400,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the civil war in 2011. 

KEY CHALLENGES

Millions fled war in the Middle East with legal refugee status, but even more fled without the opportunity to request refugee status, leaving them unable to legally work in the countries they found refuge in. Without any source of income, families set up temporary shelters in large refugee camps, completely dependent on aid. 
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our approach

We were never intended to live in poverty, divided against one another, with little hope for peace. In the Kingdom of God, poverty, violence, division, and hopelessness will not exist. We think that the Church is God’s primary transforming agent in the world. The local church is there to make its community more like the Kingdom of God.

Read on to learn how communities are being transformed in Syria.

Our partners

Our partnership in the Middle East started in 2001. While the scope of this ministry is broad due to the strategic location in the Middle East, much of our partners’ relationship building has been among the Druze people. This minority group in the Middle East isn’t particularly open to other religious influences or outsiders, but because one of the founding members of the Middle East team is from a Druze background, they have had strong inroads to build unique discipleship opportunities. When war began in the Middle East, our partners opened their doors to respond to the growing refugee crisis as well. As the situation stabilized, our partners began to repatriate families and help them move back to their original neighborhoods to rebuild their lives and communities through small, missional business initiatives

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PROJECTS

Repatriation - Our partners in the Middle East are walking alongside refugees to rebuild. They have been distributing food and diesel for heat within the refugee camps during cold months. As the situation stabilizes, our partners have begun to repatriate families. They also help families who had to flee from war move back to their original neighborhoods and rebuild their businesses to create an income source for sustainability. Former salon owners, bakers, and farmers who have been unable to work while living in refugee camps are heading home with support.

Gospel Context

People in the Middle East are no strangers to conflict between religious and cultural groups. Unfortunately, the poor and vulnerable experience the most suffering of anyone during war. Women, in particular, are mistreated while being left to carry the burden of their families.

Does the message of Jesus have anything to say about the way these women have been treated? You can learn more by checking our curriculum: Restoring Honor through Shame.

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