Syria (MNN) — Tuesday’s deadly attack in Syria has an outraged global audience pointing fingers. The chemical bombings that struck rebel-held territory in northern Syria have a climbing death and injury toll.
As of yesterday, over 70 people have died after breathing in poisonous chemicals that caused vomiting, foaming at the mouth, writhing, and choking.
Syrian man carries the body of a bombing victim after an attack in 2014. (Photo courtesy of Freedom House / AFP PHOTO / AMC /ZEIN AL-RIFAI via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic. https://goo.gl/EA89bJ)
Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA explains, “In this case, many of the victims were children. There were attacks on the clinics where the wounded were being treated — missile attacks. So, it was really a heinous attack. And hopefully the world will pay attention, and the world will try to step in and do something to help the Syrian people.”
It’s being called one of the worst chemical attacks in the Syrian civil war.
Syrian and Russian leaders deny any involvement in the chemical bombings, but Western authorities are skeptical. Nettleton says, “Supposedly, Syria had turned over all of their chemical weapon stockpiles to international supervision so that they couldn’t be used in an attack like this.” Some countries within the United Nations are demanding action and increased sanctions against Assad, but Russia and China have vetoed similar measures in the past.
Within the motley of despair, parents saying goodbye to their dead children, homes crumbling into rubble, lives being devastated… as Christians, we ask, does the Gospel have something to say even in moments like this?
Nettleton reflects, “It is a hard question to answer in some senses because the first need is for peace. There is a need for treating the wounded and bringing comfort to those who have lost loved ones.
The Aleppo citadel before Syria’s civil war. (Photo courtesy of Varun Shiv Kapur via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License: https://goo.gl/QXlFrO)
“But I think, at the bottom line, the Gospel brings hope. The thought of eternity with Christ means even if I am killed on this earth, I have the hope of eternity. I have hope for a future with Jesus. And, sometimes in desperate situations, that really is all you have is the hope that there can be eternity in heaven.”
He says to spur hope in Syria of eternity with God, we need to be getting the Gospel there. Voice of the Martyrs is providing Bibles in Syria and supporting local Christians who have decided to stay in their country so they can share the Good News.
“Pray for God’s protection over them, pray for opportunities to be a witness and to share hope in what looks like a very hopeless situation.”
Pray for Syrians, that God would grant them peace and comfort, and that they would know their Savior who grieves with them.