By Open Doors 7 February 2024 4 MIN

Syria | One year on from the earthquake

This week, a year ago, families in Turkey and Syria endured one of the largest earthquakes the region has ever experienced.

Thousands were killed and buried under the rubble. Emergency teams scrambled to rescue survivors, and millions of people were left homeless in temporary shelters.

“I can’t describe how terrifying it was.” – Lina, local partner.  

A Light in the Darkness

But in the midst of their darkest hour, churches came together to support the vulnerable and grieving in the Middle East.

Church buildings became sanctuaries — places of hope and healing for the grieving and lost.

The Christian community and our local partners worked tirelessly to offer emotional support and counsel, food, blankets, medicine, and accommodation to those impacted.

Lucine was just one of more than 12,300 people who received help from local partners of Open Doors’ global ministry in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Thanks to the gifts and prayers of Open Doors supporters around the world, local partners were able to make an immediate impact and leap into action to create immediate plans for long-term support.

And now, the long-term support has begun.

In Aleppo alone, 1,200 homes have been inspected, and where needed, repairs have already started.

Lucine: A Home Restored

Lucine’s apartment is still under construction —but one bedroom has been finished. The family was so eager to go home that they moved into a single room as construction continued.

Their belongings are still covered in plastic; the apartment still smells like paint.

But they’re home, thanks to your support.

“Thanks to God and to the church, and thanks to all the support and donations, we were able to return and restore the houses. Your support encourages us to stay here in this blessed land even when so many of our children and people have left.” – Lina, local partner.

The situation for many Syrian Christians is dire, with many barely making enough money to feed their families, let alone to restore their homes. One spokesperson from the region shared with us that the restoration of homes is about more than a place to live – it restores dignity and helps believers to feel safe.

“When they came home, they expected to see cracks on the walls and reminders of the earthquake. When they came in, the cracks were fixed, and their homes had been painted; they cried tears of joy and disbelief. They were so touched that so much effort had been put into restoring their homes. They said it was even better than before!” – Matthew Barnes, Middle East Spokesperson.

Pray for Syria:

  • Pray that the restored homes of Christians in Syria would be a blessing to their families and to the wider community.
  • Pray that Christians would feel encouraged that, despite the persecution they face, the global body of Christ is standing with them.
  • Pray that those who are still vulnerable and in need of support would get the help they need.

Stay updated with the latest prayer requests from the persecuted church.

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