World Watch List #4 Syria

04_Flag of Syrian Arab Republic Med

Ranking fourth on the persecution scale, Syria earned a score of 83 out of a possible 100 points. The score was calculated using answers to questionnaires completed by people who live in Syria, Open Doors representatives who spend time in Syria, and professional sources who know Syria intimately. The resulting list of the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians ranks those countries in order of the scores. When the difference between the scores of two countries is within the standard deviation, the difference in the experience of Christians in the country with the lower score may not even be evident to the casual observer.

According to Islamic law or “shariah,” Jews and Christians living under Muslim rule must pay a tax or “jizya” in return for protection, and become “dhimmis.” Under strong pressure from Islamic leaders in Syria. The tax has begun to be applied against Christians in Syria. Besides the tax, Christians also are forbidden to make renovations to churches or display religious symbols, to own weapons or sell pork or wine to Muslims. Every Christian man must pay a tax of up to 17 grams of gold, a tax that was common during the Middle Ages on Christians.

The Christians who remain need the most basic daily supplies for survival.
Supplies such as blankets, soap, and clothing, the most basic human necessities.

It amazes many people that Syrian Christians share everything they receive with other people in need. Despite the anti-Christian focus of much of the violence, Christians show compassion for many non-Christians who also suffer from the battles. They share, because people need help.

It is important to intercede for Christians and new believers, believing that God can and will continue the advance of his kingdom in the darkest places.


  • For Christians who are displaced within the country or are refugees in camps outside of Syria
  • For Open Doors workers, who partner with churches and other Christian organizations, providing food, shelter and trauma counseling to the refugees
  • That there would be an end to the horrific civil war which has been waged for approximately four years

By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at

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