Most of us have heard of Damascus, Syria, but how many in the western world had even heard of Aleppo before the civil war in Syria? Probably not many of us. However, Aleppo (not Damascus) was the largest city in Syria. Prior to 2012, Aleppo was home to about 2.5 million (1/4 of them Christians), and was the commercial capital of Syria. Today, the city is in total ruins. (See this article for a bit of history.)
Just thus week Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah forces, along with the Assad regime, wrested control of Aleppo from the rebels. That made the news. What has not made the news (at least not very widespread) is that Assad is literally massacring his own people. Russian aircraft and Iranian/Hezbollah ground troops are committing mass genocide, often using chemical weapons. In the last few days a group of 20 Syrian women committed mass suicide rather than be captured, raped and killed by marauding Arab forces. All while the world sits by and dies nothing.
Christians, our hearts should break. Atrocities are taking place that make even ISIS seem like a troop of boy scouts right now. (Don’t get me wrong…ISIS is not a bit scout troop. They are demonic and evil. At the moment, though, they take a backseat to the evil perpetrated by the current”axis of evil” in Syria.)
And what is the fighting about? Believe it or not, this is primarily an Arab war…Shi’ite and Sunnis doing battle with one another (and killing Christians and anyone else in their way). Hundreds of thousands have been killed, and it is thought that tens of thousands more, who are trapped within the city right now, are targeted each day. Indiscriminate bombing runs and ground raids have decimated parts of Aleppo for years. Neither side has shown much regard for loss of life.
Believers, will you commit to pray for the people of Syria caught in this trap? Why not stop right now, before going on to the next thing in your day, and pray? Our God hears. Our God cares. Our God is able. Let’s go to battle on our knees, rather than sitting by with the rest of the world and doing nothing.