Dear prayer partners,

On Thursday 20 May, thousands of Syrians living in Lebanon made their way to the Syrian embassy near Beirut to cast early votes for the presidential election. These ballots, together with others cast around the world, will be combined with those cast in the country today (26 May). Samer Zamrik, head of the Supreme Judicial Committee for Elections in Syria, reported that voting will be carried out in more than 12,000 polling stations across all 14 provinces (governorates).

The last presidential elections took place in 2014, when incumbent President Bashar al-Assad won more than 88% of the votes. Many (especially Western) nations do not view the current government, or upcoming election, as legitimate. However, many Syrians (both outside and within the country) have openly expressed their backing for Mr Assad by carrying banners in support. These elections come at a time of ongoing conflict (the region of Idlib is still under the control of opposition and militant groups) and dire economic challenges. Syria has had to simultaneously tackle COVID-19, economic sanctions, and a lack of crucial supplies.

Syria has a population of about 17 million people, 5.7% of whom profess to be Christian. Almost 50% are still considered ‘unreached’ with the gospel, and thus there is still much work to be done. INcontext partners within Syria have expressed the conviction that believers have experienced a measure of protection under Mr Assad’s government and see his re-election as an opportunity to continue their ministries. They requested prayer for their government and nation during these very challenging times.

Please join us as we pray for Syria.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)