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ICC Note: More and more testimonies are emerging from war-torn Syria of Christians choosing to stay behind and help their neighbors in the midst of persecution. Time and time again these Christian men and women are brutalized for their choice to stay in besieged areas where Islamic state militants seek them out and execute them. Though this has not stopped many from standing by their faith and their country in these bad times. Below are the stories of these brave men and women of Christ.

01/17/2017 Syria (Christian Post): Some of the world’s top aid agencies, including the United Nations and the Wold Hearth Organization, warned on Monday that as many as 700,000 people, including 300,000 children, remain trapped in besieged areas around Syria.

Christians, moderate Muslims, and others have suffered greatly in the midst of the war, with persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA ranking Syria at No. 6 on its 2017 World Watch List of countries where believers are targeted most severely for their faith.

One persecuted Christian from Syria, identified as Pastor Edward, told The Christian Post in an interview that it’s “very said and painful” to talk about what is happening in the country.

“Syria is getting torn apart and evil is all around us. We can touch evil and feel it. It is heavy on our hearts. But we also experience truth of the living Jesus Christ. It is encouraging though to me to see Isaiah 60, which says the light rises up on the church and His glory is on the church,” Edward said.

Sharing some of the events he witnessed that greatly affected him, the pastor recounted: “There was a man named George who chose not to be hidden by his Muslim neighbor when extremists came looking for Christians. He told his mother Jesus said, ‘If you deny me I will deny you.’ And he was killed. His mother was not even allowed to bury his body.”

“A doctor friend of mine decided to stay in his community to attend to everyone’s medical needs: Christian or not. He could have left,” he added.

“He could have gone to safety, but he chose to specifically stay to help others. He was taken by Islamic extremists and on camera, was killed. The video is so shocking and it gives me great pain.”

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