Updated: Friday 10 July 2023, Steff Willis
The death toll from the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria has now surpassed 20,000 people.
96five’s Ken and Nicky spoke with Open Doors local partner staff, *Leyla Samar who is on the ground in Aleppo, Syria.
“Destruction is everywhere. Wherever you go, you can see the despair and the images of death even,” Leyla said.
“Aleppo, is a place where everything is destroyed. It was already unsafe for residents [in Aleppo] to be staying in some of these buildings so when the earthquake happened earlier this week, the buildings just crumbled in minutes”.
“The church opened its doors since day one.” Leyla said.
Leyla asked Christians to be praying for:
- Pray for our church leaders, for wisdom to manage this crisis while dealing with their own challenges
- Pray for all those affected, particularly as this is not the first time they have gone through crisis
- Pray for believers’ faith to be rooted, for peace of mind
- Peace for those who mourn
*Names have been changed to protect their identity.
By: Open Doors
Churches in Türkiye and Syria are calling for Christians around the world to pray, after the massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has killed almost 4,000 people.
The international Christian organisation Open Doors said their church partners have been among the first responders to the earthquake, which is said to be the most powerful in the region for over 80 years.
Ibrahim Najjar, an Open Doors partner in Aleppo, described the severity of the earthquake, saying, “we all felt death was imminent”.
He asked for prayers for Syria and Türkiye from church leaders and members.
“We know of two priests who are stuck under the rubble in Aleppo, please pray for them,” he said. “We have also heard of at least two Christians, a mother and her son, killed in Aleppo because their house collapsed. Please pray for their family and friends.”
Open Doors CEO, Adam Holland said that the earthquake was still wreaking havoc when his team spoke on the phone with one of their local partners.
“Only 30 seconds into the call there was screaming in the background and he managed to say ‘it’s happening again’ before the line was cut. It was another earthquake,” he said.
“We ask all Christians to join us in praying for those impacted by this tragedy. We are praying for those who mourn and grieve loved ones; those who are injured; and for the ongoing rescue efforts.
“We are calling on believers to pray that the church would rely on God’s strength and that His people would reach out in love to those who need it most.”
Christians are urged to join with the local church in praying for all who are affected: the injured, traumatised or grieving.
- That survivors would be quickly rescued, and for all emergency and medical staff
- For the church and Open Doors partners to be beacons of hope, and equipped to help their communities
- For all who mourn to be comforted.
Feature image: Earthquake survivors in Aleppo, Syria (supplied by Open Doors).