Pray for Damascus, Syria

Damascus is famous in Christian history as the place where the Apostle Paul encountered Christ supernaturally, became a follower of Jesus and began his world-changing ministry to share the Gospel with those who had not heard it.

Damascus is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, settled around 2 B.C. The United Nations has declared it a World Heritage centre for its unique historic and cultural significance. Not only is it important in Christian history, but Damascus was a key centre in the Muslim struggle against the Crusades and was the capital of the Ummayad Caliphate, one of four Caliphates established after the death of Islam’s founder, Muhammed. A caliphate is a type of government under an Islamic spiritual leader who claims to be a successor of Muhammed.

Girls in a Refugee Camp in Syria | Photo by Ahmed Akacha via Pexels CC

Today, the population of Damascus is around 2.1 million. The city saw rapid growth at the beginning of the 21st century, mostly with young people coming to the city for work and education. More recently, many have also left the city, fleeing the civil war. Most of the current residents are Syrian Arabs, but there are also some Kurds and even a small community of Palestinians. The Christian population is slightly higher in the city, compared
to the nation as a whole, about 15-20{1ef34f8f1cacfdc6c19f5319e487deec2393c82eacea09a13da7feed1a24e305} in Damascus, compared to 10{1ef34f8f1cacfdc6c19f5319e487deec2393c82eacea09a13da7feed1a24e305} overall. There is also a small but ancient Jewish population.

Christians and Muslims largely live peaceably in Damascus – they have bigger struggles that they face together, as Syrians, facing war. Still, as a minority, they face persecution and the ongoing threat of danger as the war continues.

How to Pray

  • The Christian community in Damascus is made up of several, mostly Orthodox denominations. Pray for them to have unity and to serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)
  • Pray for peace in Syria so this ancient city can rebuild and prosper in safety. (Acts 9:31)
  • Pray for many Muslim residents of Damascus to encounter and turn to Christ as the Apostle Paul did many centuries ago. (Acts 9:1-22)

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Top photo by IMB, used with permission

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