SYRIAN CHRISTIANS STAND STRONG
Through all the pain their country has endured, Syrian believers have been sustained by their steadfast faith. Months after ISIS militants were driven from the last of their territory, Christians gathered in Damascus to praise God. The special thanksgiving event was broadcast live on SAT-7 ARABIC, encouraging viewers across the region.
“This is our beloved country,” said the host of the event, Syrian television personality Majida Zanbaka. “We are a steadfast people who do not bend. The more strife we face, the more faith and praise we express.”
God’s goodness, and the strength of His people, was the resounding message of the special open-air service held in Damascus. The believers gathered in Tishreen Park heard from many powerful speakers and enjoyed stirring worship music.
LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
The event was a picture of Christian unity, with the three choirs who sang representing evangelical, Melkite Catholic, and Orthodox churches respectively. The speakers also came from several different denominations.
Father Botros Al-Khoury, an Orthodox priest from St Mary’s Church, Damascus, said:
“We are witnessing the light of the truth. It has conquered the darkness of injustice, proving to the world that the power of God and the power of the people are unconquerable. As we seek peace, we choose to praise the Lord.”
FORGIVENESS AND LOVE
Pastor Edward Awabdeh, the leader of the Alliance Church in Damascus and Lebanon, urged believers to love others of all religions unconditionally, even in the wake of the trauma.
“Let us guide our sons and daughters to seek forgiveness instead of revenge,” he said. “We all talk about love, but do we do what we say? Let us show our respect for God by respecting others who are created in His image. We must learn to see them through His loving eyes.”
“KEEP PRAYING FOR SYRIA”
The event also included a call to action. Although ISIS fighters no longer hold territory, fears remain that the fighters will regroup as an insurgent faction.
In parts of the country, civilians – including children – face ongoing violence. And, as well-known hymn singer Nizar Fares reminded viewers, millions of Syrians remain displaced.
“I’m happy to be here with you in Syria after eight years,” he said. “We pray for its revival, but I also ask you to pray for your people who are still refugees.
“On a recent visit to Greece, I was saddened to see Syrian children, only months old, in refugee tents suffering from the hot summer temperatures. There are still many Syrian refugees in Turkey, Iraq, and Europe … keep praying for Syria.”
FLAGS OF PEACE
The live broadcast encouraged SAT-7’s audience across the region. One viewer wrote, “May the Lord bless you, Pastor Edward, for your speech about love and acceptance of the other, who is made in the image of God. We need this in our country.”
“Thank you to all the singers, volunteers, and everyone who helped in organizing this event to glorify the name of the King of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ. Syria is one of the first homelands of Christianity… May His flags of peace be on our lands.”
SAT-7 asks its supporters – whose donations made this broadcast possible – to echo this prayer. Please join us in praying for peace and freedom in Syria and for relief for refugees.