As the crisis in Syria drags towards its eighth year, Open Doors is asking supporters to Sing for Syria and raise funds and prayer for 12,000 families who are relying on support for food, medicines and warmth this Christmas.
The charity hopes that over 2500 of its new Sing for Syria, Christmas carol packs will be used by Churches to highlight the ongoing need of Christians in the Middle East and to raise vital support.
Open Doors’ Head of Church Partnerships, Andy Worthington said:
“We’re so excited to see so many churches getting involved in Sing for Syria to help Syrian Christians who share our faith but not our freedoms. It’s a wonderful and festive way to raise vital awareness and practical help to those facing difficulty this Christmas.”
Included in the pack are Sing for Syria carol sheets, Sing for Syria sticker sheet and a letter from Pastor Abdalla of the Alliance Church in Aleppo, Syria. Sing for Syria can be used for community events, school carol services or door to door carolling.
The pack is available to order on the Open Doors website. There are also recipes for Syrian mince pies and videos perfect for showing in a carol service.
The crisis in Syria isn’t over yet. The most vulnerable people have been left behind; the displaced, the elderly, those who need medical care. Open Doors local church partners are providing vital aid such as food and medicines to 12,000 families each month, alongside long-term projects.
Gifts donated to Open Doors’ work in Syria will be doubled by a generous Open Doors supporter to help twice as many vulnerable families to survive the freezing winter.
Syria is number 15 on the Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. As the civil war goes on, Christians continue to be abducted, physically and sexually abused, and forced to flee their homes.
Persecution against Christians in Syria mainly comes from Islamic extremists. While the self-proclaimed Islamic State holds less territory in Syria than it did before, they still control some areas and carry out revenge attacks in others. Other Islamic extremist groups also operate within Syria. Church leaders are a particular target, especially those from traditional denominations as they are often recognisable by their clothing.
Despite this, many church leaders have chosen to stay in Syria to serve their communities – many of those who remain in Syria are the most vulnerable, such as the elderly and those in need of medical care.