Christian Presence Grows in Kobani

04/18/2019 Syria (International Christian Concern) – In northern Syria, near the Turkish border in the town of Kobani, the presence of Christians has grown through converts. Around 20 families, or between 80-100 individuals, are now attending a church exclusively for converts on a weekly basis. Many point to eight years of civil war and the violence of the Islamic State as the reason many of these new Christian believers began distancing themselves from Islam.

The convert church in Kobani and the openness of which it operates is unique to the Middle East, but is also reflective of a situation that is becoming more common place within Syria. The Syrian city of Afrin is another location of where there is a large convert presence. Most Christians fled the country during the early years of the conflict, and many observers point to Muslim Background Believers as the future of the Syrian church.

Given that it is normal for Christian converts to suffer heavy persecution in Islamic countries, local concern has been raised about the long-term welfare for those in Syria who are currently worshiping openly. While they are now tolerated by their Islamic neighbors, the question on the minds of many is whether the situation will last. In other parts of Syria, converts to Christianity are forced to keep their faith hidden.

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