Generations on, Christians fleeing Syria return to Turkish homeland they once fled

Dentist-pastor returns to Syria to save his church from obliteration

The Faith
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A church in Syria has stood courageously in the midst of constant threat from the Muslim extremist group ISIS and has seen growth as more people lean on it for support.

The church is led by Pastor Edward Awabdeh, a dentist who worked in the U.S. but returned to his home. While many Christians have fled the country, he chose to stay – even after Syria became the fifth most dangerous country for Christians.

Awabdeh said the risk that Christians face in Damascus is pretty much the same risk that other residents of the area face, with bombs randomly exploding and constantly threatening their lives. He himself experienced having a bomb fall on his house. Fortunately, it did not explode.

However, Christians face a bigger problem, as the extremist group is determined to wipe out “everything Christian” in the Middle East. In February 2015, ISIS abducted 250 people from 35 Christian villages. The attack caused 3,000 people to flee their homes.

“It breaks my heart to think that sometime the Middle East will be evacuated of the church of Christians,” Awabdeh said. “This thought scares me to death because that land where Christianity started and even where the work of the apostle Paul started, right there from Damascus, and from Antioch the mission work started.”

This article continues at [] Christian church in Syria persists and grows despite threat from ISIS

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