- (Photo: Reuters/Zain Karam)
Open Doors has spoken of its concern for children in Syria growing "surrounded by terror and the sounds of war."
The prolonged civil war has killed at least 30,000 people and shows no sign of abating. One Open Doors contact in the country told of a little girl, Yasmin, living in Damascus:
"What the girl shared with a mix of seriousness and humor shows what a terrible situation Syrian children grow up nowadays," the contact said.
"Yasmin told me that they got rain and thunder in Damascus as the fall season is approaching. Then she continued to say with a small laugh, 'it's raining and thundering not just what God is sending us, but all kinds of stuff'.
"Children call the sound of bombings, attacks, gun shots and cannons 'music'. We wake up with this sound of music, live with it during the day and go to sleep with it."
Yasmin told how shelling close to her school had broken the building's windows.
"While all students were running around crying, I and a friend of mine were not afraid," Yasmin shared. "We felt how the peace of Jesus fell on our lives."
Daily life remains uncertain. Over a dozen people were killed and many more injured in a bomb attack in a largely Christian neighborhood of Damascus last Sunday.
The contact told how, after the explosion, many people gathered at the church in the evening.
"Bombings, missiles, shelling, attacks are happening all over the country and are increasing in Aleppo and Damascus. But God's favor is over His church. Pain and suffering are seen daily, but the church is keeping its hope in Jesus," the contact said.
One Christian, named only as Martitza, shared: "My bedroom was destroyed by a grenade which fell nearby. My bed was split in half. Because I was that night taking care of my mother-in-law who is very ill, I did not die in my bed."
In addition to the dangers posed by the fighting, there is pressure on basic necessities.
A pastor from Aleppo reports that prices are getting higher and higher: "We are in a very tough situation and we don't know where we are heading. But thank God, after one week without running water, we just have water again. Having water is a luxury these days."
There have also been reports of kidnappings, with a priest and his wife among the victims.
The contact said: "Bold attacks on Christians and Christian areas are increasing."
The contact asked for Christians to pray for an end to the war in Syria and for the church as it reaches out in the midst of conflict.
"They focus their eyes and hope on Christ and on His plans," the contact added.