Impact Advocacy | 03 September 2023

Rewriting Futures in the Middle East: The Impact of your Prayers and Support


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When Islamist extremists set out to eradicate the church in the Middle East, your support kept hope alive. Thank you.

Restoring livelihoods

Salah Askiefi, 30, received a small business loan to open a sweet shop in Latakia. “God helped me with this, when all roads seemed closed,” he said. “It’s as if God told me, I want to lift you up. Thank you to everyone who made this possible. It was a lifeline.”

Rebuilding homes

Shefa, from a local partner organization, visited Qaraquosh, Iraq, where your support helped rebuild more than 2,000 homes. “Once, I was shocked by the smell of death and the sight of destruction here,” said Shefa. “But now, I visit those villages and hear the church bells ring again. I see Christians picking up their lives!”

Caring for the elderly

Amir*, in his 80s, lives alone on the top floor of an apartment in Damascus, Syria. His wife has died and his children left the country. He’s housebound because he struggles to walk and the lift doesn’t work. But, thanks to your support, people from church visit… “I’ve only God and you,” Amir said.


“International agencies and even the US government started to support churches in Syria and Iraq financially,” said Open Doors director in the Middle East, Thomas Adam*. This incredible outcome was the result of your support to advocate for our brothers and sisters, and highlight the church’s positive contribution to society.

Relief aid

Iktimal and her family were driven out of their home and farmland by armed militants. Your support meant they weren’t alone. Christians at the Centre of Hope in Latakia helped the family find a house to rent, and provided mattresses, blankets, pillows, gas, monthly food packages and clothes. “We found this place and started to love life again,” said Iktimal.

Church: a beacon of hope

Fadi, from Baghdad, was 11 when war broke out. Conflict, death and fear marked his youth. But he knew the church was a beacon of light. “If they chase me out of my house, I can go to church and take shelter,” he said. “The simple fact that the church was open made it a centre of hope.”

New believers

Open Doors director Thomas* said many people from a Muslim background have come to faith in Jesus. “I was speechless when I went to a church service with only Muslim-background believers from Syria,” said Thomas. “This place is a centre of hope for them.”

Hope remains – because of you

Civil war is raging in Syria. A quarter of a million people have been killed, millions more have fled their homes, and a humanitarian crisis is unfolding. The church, too, is dying at the hands of Islamic State, as Christians lose hope and leave.

That was 2015, and the desperate situation demanded a global response.

Open Doors regional director, Thomas Adam*, brought church leaders together from across the Middle East. “What do you need?” he asked. “Hope,” came the reply. “The church and society need hope.”

So Open Doors launched a new vision to bring hope to the Middle East and raise a million voices in prayer and advocacy. We wanted to stand with our brothers and sisters, to help the church survive the onslaught.

Your support made it happen.

From relief aid, to rebuilding homes, to restoring livelihoods, your gifts and prayers changed lives across Syria and Iraq (see opposite). You helped open 286 Centres of Hope, strengthening the church to shine light in the darkness. And more than 808,000 people signed the Hope for the Middle East petition (see more over the page), forcing leaders around the world to take notice.

You stood with our brothers and sisters – and they were not alone.

You kept hope alive – and the church survived.

Thank you so much.

Raising a voice: Noeh’s story

Noeh was just a little boy when Islamist extremists destroyed his hometown of Karamles, in Iraq. The family fled – but when they returned, their home was burnt to the ground.

So when more than 808,000 people signed our Hope for the Middle East petition, 12-year-old Noeh was chosen to present it to the United Nations. In December 2017, Noeh travelled with his father Hathem and a church leader to America, and presented the petition in New York.

The petition urged world leaders to ensure that Christians and others in Iraq and Syria are guaranteed the right to equal citizenship, dignified living conditions and a prominent role in reconciling and rebuilding society.

Today, Noeh has returned to live in Karamles and is a shepherd. “Life is difficult and it is hard to find work, but there is hope here now,” said Noeh. “Our homes are here so we are back to rebuild and remain. Jesus brought us back here safely.”

Your impact: Jina’s story

Kidnappers stormed the bus, travelling from Aleppo to Qamishli in Syria, and ordered two Christian men off. One was later freed after a ransom was paid. The other was Rober, husband to Jina and dad to one-year-old Apo. He was never seen again.

“They told Rober to convert to Islam time after time,” Jina heard. “But he refused, saying, ‘I have my God and that’s it’.” The years passed and Rober was officially declared dead. The family was devastated.

But today, little Apo is 10 – a kind and obedient boy – and, thanks to your support, Jina has hope.

At the Centre of Hope in Aleppo, Jina receives food parcels and winter fuel, and Apo attends kids' Bible groups. Jina is even training to be a beautician. “How would a widow survive without the help you provided?” she said. “You helped me to find this work and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I pray God will bless you and open new doors for you to continue to help us in Syria.”

Thank you so much for bringing hope to the Middle East.

*names changed for security reasons


please pray
  • Thank the Lord with us for His provision through the prayers and support of partners like you.
  • Pray for encouragement for believers in the Middle East as they persevere in their faith despite difficulties.
  • Pray for strength and wisdom upon Open Doors workers in the field. 
Today, will you help rewrite the future for young Christians in Egypt and the Middle East? 

Every PHP 2,350 will help provide a month of medical care and support to three persecuted Christians.

Every PHP 4,200 will help train and disciple vulnerable young quarry workers, to strengthen their faith.

Every PHP 6,100 will help give financial security to a persecuted Christian family, through a small business loan.