Syria is an ancient civilization, located on the Mediterranean coast between Turkey and Iraq. Damascus is known as the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Syria is written about throughout the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. Its people trace their origins back to Noah, as descendants of Shem, Noah’s son. King David of Israel led a successful conquest against Syria and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites who occupied the land. In New Testament times, Syria became a Roman province.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. Matthew 4:23-25
The apostle Paul and members of the Early Church spent a lot of time in Syria. Antioch was the center of one of the first Christian churches and they primarily preached to the Gentiles. In 634-640 AD, Syria was conquered by the Muslim Arabs. The Orthodox and Catholic churches that had existed since before Islam still endure and have many members. The majority in the Church are Arab but there is also a large Armenian community. Christians do experience some discrimination in housing and employment, and must exercise caution and wisdom in relating to the state and Muslims.
Pray for this ancient country, once walked upon by Jesus and where Paul had his conversion. Pray that the historical sites will be preserved and not destroyed by the fighting, and that the people will once again be renewed in the faith of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, in one of the most ancient and historical countries on earth.