Five years into the conflict in Syria, many staff members of the Bible Society have stayed and continued their work despite the dangers. The Society’s director said:
“The thirst for Scriptures among Christians here has only increased with all the unrest. The past five years have been very traumatic for Syrians in general, and for Syrian Christians in particular. Every family has a sad story. With this loss of hope, people are turning to God’s Word for comfort and encouragement.”
Despite the scale of the displacement and conflict, the local Bible Society team has received far more requests than ever before.
In 2010, the year before the conflict began, the Bible Society distributed just under 15,000 Scriptures. By 2014, the demand had increased tenfold, and nearly 159,000 Scriptures were distributed across Syria that year.
Distribution routes throughout the country have become perilous and staff members “often make risky journeys to encourage Christians and deliver Scriptures to them, sometimes getting caught in battle zones”.
Incredibly, the Damascus Bible bookshop has remained open throughout the conflict, while the one in Aleppo only shut for two days when the nearby fighting became particularly intense. A rocket hit the second floor of the building in which the bookshop is housed, but it didn’t explode and there were no casualties or damage to the Scriptures.
The Bible Society is also putting effort into equipping churches “to offer Bible-based trauma healing to the many Christian families who need it”.