Islam in Syria: A Civil War and Ramadan

As the civil war in Syria moves into year three, Muslims in the country or living as refugees outside its borders begin their holy month of Ramadan in less than a festive mood, notes The Associated Press.

The fighting that has destroyed much of the country, combined with prices that have soared in recent months, have left many Syrians struggling to get by.

“People come by the kitchen just begging for scraps, it tears the heart,” said an activist in the rebel-held northern Syrian city of Maarat al-Numan.

Ramadan is a time of prayer and reflection for Muslims during which they fast food, drink, sex and smoking in daylight hours and break their fast at dusk with feasts of meats, sweets, etc. But the struggles in Syria today are creating smaller feasts, if even existent at all. The displacement of peoples and rising food prices are making it difficult.

Read the full story via The New York Times here.

At the same time, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to all parties involved in the fighting in Syria to put down their weapons during Ramadan.

“I am not calling for a contractual cease-fire or a negotiated truce. Nor am I referring to a measure limited to any one area. I am calling for every military unit of the regular army and the Free Syrian Army, for every person holding a gun, to stop fighting and offer this month of peace as a collective present to their people – and to do so across Syria.”

Read the full release from the UN here.

As the UN continues to give out food to those who are hungry and displaced by the civil war and as Muslims fast for the next 30 days, please pray with us that Muslims in Syria and elsewhere around the world will hear about Jesus, our bread of life.

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