Five Years After the Syrian Civil War Began, Conditions Remain Dire for Christians

The Syrian civil war has been called the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. After five years of conflict, approximately 80 percent of the population lives in poverty and many do not even have access to electricity. Hundreds of thousands have been killed and nearly half the population has been displaced. Now, as the civil war enters its sixth year and the government and rebel groups move toward a cease-fire, the full impact of Islamic State-sponsored terror may finally be revealed. But one thing is already crystal clear: the Syrian Christian community has been ravaged.

Since 2011, the political unrest has allowed the Islamic State to take over much of the region and wreak havoc on minority communities. The Christian community in Syria, whose population numbered more than 1 million at the start of the war, has been nearly decimated, just 300,000 Christians remain in-country.

Open Doors, the global advocate for persecuted Christians, is urging lawmakers to do more to protect those who remain in Syria.

“Our plea is that Congress will recognize the severe repercussions of the Syrian crisis on the Christian population and take decisive action. Urgent response is needed and, as the dominant power in the free world, the United States must lead the charge in bringing more relief and aid to those of all faiths suffering in Syria,” said David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA.

Open Doors USA has been on the ground with Syrians since the beginning of the civil war and is providing shelter, food, water, counseling, Bibles and other Christian materials to refugees. Syria is No. 5 on the 2016 Open Doors World Watch List. Its main driver of persecution is Islamic extremism and the level of persecution is rated as extreme.

About Open Doors USA:

For more than 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted. Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit