Under constant pressure in a Muslim country and with Covid-19 adding to the difficulties, Pastor George Moushi has considered giving up his ministry in Syria.
“God has not left Syria!” That is the view of a pastor who is helping Muslims find Christ in the midst of Covid-19.
When the civil war started in Syria, Pastor George Moushi didn’t flee. He stayed when bombing meant neighbours had to run to his house in Qamishli for cover.
And he stayed again when Covid-19 saw people hide in their homes from the silent killer while being threatened with financial ruin and starvation.
After pioneering Alliance Church, there have been times when Moushi – who has seen the number of Christians in Syria fall from 1.8 million to 800,000 – has questioned whether to stay.
He said: “People were killed, injured, houses and shops were destroyed. When the Turkish entered Syria, there was a lot of fear. At that time, many families were afraid to send their children to school.
“The Turkish army could do horrific things, they could harm women, rob houses and cause a lot of damage.
“We held a meeting with the members of our church. I wanted to make a decision together with the church, to stay or leave. We prayed and asked God for wisdom.
“We prayed and after that members were invited to say what they wanted. About 60 per cent wanted to stay.”
Moushi had committed to stay in Syria if even one person chose to remain as part of the church congregation, but such overwhelming support for the church in Qamishli and the local outreach programmes began to raise questions in the Muslim community.
“The war made people think about their life. They ask ‘Where will I go after I die?’
“It made people from Muslim backgrounds question their faith. When the church started visiting them, they began to understand about God’s love. We show them that God is love and that God loves people.
“The seats that became empty as people fled the war were filled again.
“God didn’t leave us; a lot of people accepted Christ and were added to the church. Although the war was so awful, God turned ashes into beauty, a lot of people came to Christ. And the church is now growing more widely. There have been a lot of Muslims coming to Christ. In our church 25 to 30 per cent are from a Muslim background.”
Alliance Church began its relief work in 2012. Since then it has helped hundreds of displaced Syrians fleeing violence and prayed and helped provide for people whose family members were killed.
Supported by charity Open Doors UK & Ireland, the church remains a centre for hope.
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