All churches in Syria will unite in prayer on Saturday 11 May in many places all around the war-torn nation. This is a unique moment of unity of Christians in that country. The Syrian Christians ask their brothers and sisters all around the world to pray with them on that day.
We as MEE field office want to invite all Development bases to contact your contacts to get as much as possible Churches and individual Christians to join in. This is a real request from the persecuted church to join with them in prayer. During the events there will be video recording and pictures will be taken. They will be made available afterwards. (Open Doors)
We have received a letter of the people coordinating this day of prayer:
“As you may know, the Christian church in Syria is experiencing a deep humanitarian crisis that is leading to the rapid loss of hope. In the face of violence and persecution, our brothers and sisters are striving to keep their eyes on the Lord and seeking His face in their country. Even in pain, suffering, and death, God is using the church to accomplish His plan.
On Saturday May 11th, 2013, Christians from different denominations such as Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant/Evangelical are joining together in prayer and fasting to plead before the Lord for His mercy on Syria and an end to the violence. Due to the dangers of traveling in combat zones, Christians will be limited to local meetings planned all across Syria during this day. These groups will be meeting in homes, meeting arenas and churches, and will be a mix of all denominations. Christians across Syria have asked that you join them in prayer on May 11th.
This email is to invite you to help your brothers and sisters in Christ by praying and (if possible) fasting, and by please spreading the word about this unified prayer effort through your local prayer networks and churches. This will be a world-wide meeting of Christians in prayer, and we want all believers to have the chance to join.
An email will follow with a list of prayer requests directly from the Christians living in Syria. Thank you for standing in the gap on behalf of the Syrian people and reflecting the love of Christ in your acts of worship.”
Almost all denominations in Syria agreed and want to be part of this day. In Damascus part of the churches will meet in an arena, but there will be prayer also in several suburbs of that city.
In Aleppo, the whole Christian community in Aleppo and surroundings are getting together to pray. “This is a huge deal as it has never happened in Syria before. They will have 2 meetings back to back, one hosted by the Catholic church and the other at an Orthodox church.”
The bishops and pastors from these churches have sent emails and letters to all bishops around Syria to inform them and ask them to gather and pray in their areas.
Of course all over the country there will be prayers held at churches and homes. Over twenty churches in Jaramanah (one of the suburbs of Damascus) will pray in their own churches and some will join in the arena.
Many priests and pastors in Syria are telling their denominations word wide to join in prayers too. We know that churches in Germany, France, Norway, India, Sweden, U.S.A, Canada are joining at that day.
The people working on this effort have been on fire to see God’s hand moving. Let’s please keep all of them in prayers.
One of the prayer requests is reconciliation among Christian denominations.
Participating denominations in Syria:
Protestants: Nazarene Church; Presbyterian Church; Baptist Church
Catholic Church; Roman Catholics and Orthodox Catholics;
Syriac Church: Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholic.
Armenian: Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholic, Armenian Evangelical.
We have confirmation of prayer meetings in the following places: Aleppo and suburbs, Damascus and suburbs, Kamishli, Hasakeh, Hama, Homs, Latakia, Swaida, Bloudan, Zabadani, Katana.
Religious liberty organizations united under the Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) have released a statement on the crisis in Syria asking the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria to pay particular attention to “vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities”, and calling for a designated day of prayer for the country.
Called the Istanbul Statement on the Church in Syria, it expresses concern about the exodus of Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities from Syria and calls on the international community to ”provide sufficient protection for all ethnic and religious communities as well as their historical, religious, and cultural sites.”
“There was overwhelming support at our 2013 Consultation in Istanbul to speak out about the urgent situation facing Christians and other religious minorities in Syria at this present time,” said Mervyn Thomas. Chairman of the RLP, and CEO of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, UK. “We urge Christian leaders around the world to respond to this call to prayer and action now in order to bring peace and stability to this troubled nation.”
According to the statement, drafted during the annual gathering of member organizations held in Istanbul in late March, the Religious Liberty Partnership commits “to raise awareness and work toward a peaceful solution of the current crisis, including reconciliation among the various ethnic and religious communities; and to utilize practices that prioritize the well-being of all Syrians when providing assistance and advocating on behalf of the vulnerable.” The full Istanbul Statement is available HERE.