Syria is a Middle Eastern country bordering Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and more than 1,000 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean Sea.
The population of Syria is estimated to be 18 million, the majority of whom are Arab.
Approximately 64% of Syrians are Sunnis, 13% are Shia, and .19% are Evangelicals
Syrian civil war began on March 15, 2011 resulting from a forceful government crackdown to the spreading protests against the government across the country.
Today there are approximately 6.8 million Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers and another 6.7 million people are displaced within Syria. This is more than two thirds of the country’s population.
Approximately half of the people affected by the Syrian refugee crisis are children.
In Syria, eight out of every ten people live in extreme poverty (less than $1.90/day).
Syrian refugees by location:
- Turkey — Nearly 3.7 million
- Lebanon — 855,000
- Jordan — 668,000
- Iraq — 247,000
- Egypt — 132,000
According to a refugee crisis study, “European countries host over 1 million Syrian asylum-seekers and refugees, with the 70 percent being hosted in two countries only: Germany (59 percent) and Sweden (11 percent). This makes Germany the fifth largest host country globally, hosting over 1 million in total, of which over half (560,000) are Syrians. Austria, Greece, the Netherlands and France host between 2 to 5 percent, while other countries host below 2 percent.”
We need prayer for:
- The war in Syria to end.
- The children who have lost so much (loved ones, homes, education, nutrition).
- The Church in Syria to persevere amidst surrounding hostility.
- The Church outside of Syria to minister to the Syrian refugees in their communities.
Syrian Refugee Ministry
“Now in its 11th year, the Syrian refugee crisis remains the world’s largest refugee and displacement crisis of our time. Since the Syrian civil war officially began March 15, 2011, families have suffered under brutal conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, torn the nation apart, and set back the standard of living by decades…About 6.8 million Syrians are refugees and asylum-seekers, and another 6.7 million people are displaced within Syria. This means 13.5 million Syrians in total are forcibly displaced, more than half of the country’s population. Nearly 11.1 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance. And about half of the people affected by the Syrian refugee crisis are children” (source).
When the Syrian war began, ABWE already had a team on the ground in the Middle East to coordinate a response in partnership with local churches and ministries. Since 2012, through the generosity of God’s people, ABWE has continued to support refugee ministry primarily through trusted national partners. As refugees flooded into Europe, many ABWE teammates serving in those countries responded through ministries of gospel compassion.
ABWE’s Open Initiative has identified ministry to Syrian refugees as one of the six strategic priorities for the next five years. Would you consider how God may want to use you to share the love of Jesus Christ in both word and deed to those who are searching for hope and help?
Ministry Team Leader
Are you passionate about building and mobilizing a team for effective, lasting ministry? A Ministry Team Leader understands the importance of ministry vision, strategic planning, and healthy team dynamics, as well as how to achieve this in collaboration with others. This individual seeks to follow the servant leadership example of Jesus. Imagine using your God-given leadership skills to initiate and facilitate new ministries among the unreached Syrian refugees!
Strategic Partnership Coordinator
Are you passionate about networking and partnering in missions? A Strategic Partnership Coordinator understands the importance of connecting people, ministries, and resources for great commission purposes. This individual seeks to bring the body of Christ together for the benefit of “on the ground” local ministries. Syrian refugees have great needs. Are you someone who would love to find people and resources who could help meet those needs?
Compassion Ministries Coordinator
Are you passionate about helping people in need? The Compassion Ministries Coordinator understands the importance of holistic ministry. Jesus is concerned about the physical needs of refugees, asylum-seekers, and displaced people. Coordinating practical help for people in such great need is a vital ministry. This individual seeks to share the gospel by serving as the hands and feet of Jesus through acts of compassion. Has God has given you a heart of compassion that moves you to help people in practical ways in their times of distress?
Are you passionate about using the Bible to help people through their suffering and trials? A Christian counselor is skilled in sympathetic listening and applying the Word of God in helpful ways. Working with people who have lost loved ones, homes, and any hope of a future requires people able to counsel. This individual seeks to both show and share the gospel through the ministry of biblical counseling. If you have training as a Christian counselor, would you consider the incredible needs and opportunities among Syrian refugees?
Evangelism and Discipleship
Are you passionate about evangelism and discipleship? We need people who are motivated to build relationships within a community, willing to learn a foreign language and culture, and equipped to share the gospel with those who may have never heard. At the heart of the great commission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ! Jesus commands that we “go and make disciples of all nations.” If you desire to make disciples among the unreached, would you consider Syrian refugees?
Are you passionate about seeing local churches established among the unreached? A church planter is one who understands what it takes to enter a community, make disciples, and then to gather them into a New Testament local church. The goal of the cross-cultural church planter is not to pastor the church, but to equip local, biblically qualified believers to lead their own church. Church planting is at the heart of ABWE’s vision to multiply leaders, churches, and mission movements among every nation.