Open Doors USA Urges Believers to Pledge to Pray on Saturday, May 11
Contact: Jerry Dykstra, Media Relations Director, Open Doors USA, 616-915-4117, email@example.com
SANTA ANA, Calif., April 30, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- Most churches in Syria will unite in prayer on Saturday, May 11, in many places around the war-torn nation. This will be an extraordinary show of unity of Christian denominations in Syria, where the on-going civil war has claimed over 70,000 lives.
Syrian Christians are asking their brothers and sisters around the world to pray and fast with them on the Day of Prayer for Syria on May 11.
"As Christians in Syria continue to suffer from the devastating effects of the two-year-old civil war including killings, kidnappings, homelessness, lack of food and shelter and closing of schools; they are also seeing that God's hand is at work as all denominations are joining in passionate prayer," says Open Doors USA interim President/CEO Steve Ridgway. "Christians in Syria know only Jesus can bring redemption and true peace.
"I urge you to take time on May 11 to pray with Syrian believers and for the country of Syria. Also encourage prayer in your churches on May 12. Let's stand together as one in Christ."
Open Doors received a letter from leaders coordinating The Day of Prayer for Syria. In part, it reads:
"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 11, 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, arenas and churches. Christians across Syria have asked that you join them in prayer on May 11.
"Thank you for standing in the gap on behalf of the Syrian people and reflecting the love of Christ in your acts of worship."
In Damascus, some of the churches will meet in an arena, but there will be prayer in several suburbs of the city. The entire Christian community in Aleppo and the surrounding area is gathering to pray. "This is a huge undertaking as it (day of prayer with almost all denominations participating) has never happened in Syria before," said a Syrian church leader.
For more information, a list of specific prayer requests, and to make a pledge to pray for Syria, go to www.opendoorsusa.org/syria-pray.
A few prayer requests from churches inside Syria include:
- The release of two Orthodox bishops, Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi, who were kidnapped April 23 in Aleppo, and other Christians who are missing.
- Counseling for children who have been traumatized by violence.
- For almost one-third of the Syrian population who are either refugees outside the country or homeless inside Syria.
- Return of peace.
On the ground in Syria, Open Doors, working with church partners, is helping facilitate food supplies, personal hygiene products, medical assistance/medicines and financial support by paying the rent of apartments for temporary shelter for the homeless. The Displaced Peoples Project also is targeting other countries. Worldwide, thousands of Christians are being forced to leave their original family homes and villages due to persecution and ravages of war.
For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ's light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians by supplying Bibles and Christian literature, training Christian leaders, facilitating social/economic projects and uniting believers in the West in prayer for Christians, who are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our website at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 616-915-4117).