6 May 2016

Christians in Aleppo call for day of prayer and fasting as violence escalates

Christians in Aleppo are calling on the global church to join them in a day of prayer this Sunday, 8 May. This prayer day has been prompted by the intensive bombing that the city has just seen, killing hundreds and even hitting hospitals.

"We are asking you to join us in an international prayer and fasting day for Aleppo. We are refusing to see the death anymore in Syria - Aleppo especially - and we are declaring the resurrection of the Christ on our beloved country," said one believer from Aleppo.

One man described the attack on a hospital on 3 May: "Today, the hospital where my wife gave birth to our daughter was hit. This is the best hospital for giving birth in Aleppo. It is also considered as one of the most important hospitals for infertility treatment in the Middle East. The total amount of people killed is 17. These are the numbers from this hospital only. One of the martyrs is a baby, 1 minute old.

"For me and my wife, it is very symbolic. This is where my daughter was born and a place where new babies come to this world and new life begins. Today it is full of death and destruction."

In 2015, Open Doors provided 50,000 people in Syria with vital support every month, including food, medicines, and rent subsidies.

At the start of the year, Open Doors also partnered with a local church in Aleppo to dig a well to ensure a supply of clean water to the city, as the water supply was regularly cut off in 2014 and 2015.

One church leader from Aleppo said this earlier this year: "The living situation in Aleppo has become very difficult and tiring. There is no income for the majority of families in the city. Our work has never stopped, but has increased month by month. We are also working to support the people psychologically and morally, because we care about all aspects of the people.

"The people in Aleppo pray for you, as your aid is of great help to them. Thank you. We support them with all we can and with all our strength because the people in Aleppo are very tired and have even despaired because of the situation."

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Note to Editors

For more information contact Open Doors Press Office on 01993 777377

Syria is number 5 on the Open Doors World Watch List, which ranks the severity of persecution faced by Christians in 50 countries. Open Doors is partnering with local partners and churches in Syria to care for and provide relief aid to tens of thousands of displaced Christians, distribute Bibles and Christian books, provide discipleship and leadership training for church leaders and youth leaders, and provide trauma counselling and debriefing.

Open Doors UK & Ireland is part of Open Doors International, a global NGO network which has supported and strengthened persecuted Christians for 60 years. Last year supporters in the UK and Ireland raised over £11.7 million to provide practical support to persecuted Christians such as food, medicines, trauma care, legal assistance, safe houses and schools, as well as spiritual support through Christian literature, training and resources, in over 60 countries.