A Christian congregation in Syria is defying the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by continuing to hold church services amidst the threat of violence and death.
By Lorraine Caballero, Christian Daily.
While many Christians fled Syria after ISIS razed the war-torn region, Pastor Edward Awabdeh and his congregation stayed and supported each other through the crisis. At one point, a bomb fell on the pastor’s house but fortunately did not explode, the Express relays.
In February last year, ISIS attacked 35 Christian villages and kidnapped more than 250 people along the way. Their atrocities drove 3,000 more to flee their homeland.
“Really it’s very important and meaningful for us as Middle Eastern to see the church with its roots deep back in history stay there and just stay to do the work of Christ there,” said Pastor Awabdeh. “Not just to keep a name but to keep a name with a power and life and really making a difference in the lives of people and in the country, like a light in the darkness at that part of the world,” he continued.
Together with his wife Rana and Christian charity Open Doors, Pastor Awabdeh helps 2,000 families in Syria. They strive to create a sense of normality for the children by providing post-traumatic support, counseling, and engaging them in art activities. Aside from pasturing his flock at the Alliance Church in Damascus, he also oversees 20 other churches in the country, Christian Today details.