God's light and love are still shining despite intense fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Not all churches have been closed or destroyed as anti-government forces battle the Syrian army for control of the country's second largest city. At least one church is reaching out to help war-weary Syrians of all faiths.
According to World Watch Monitor, a Christian woman named Kristina and her family are now living as refugees in neighboring Lebanon. She tells of how her home church has lost most of its members.
Watch CBN Reporter Abigail Robertson's interview with an Aleppo pastor who is serving his community in the midst of war.
However, while Christians were forced to flee the violence and live elsewhere, 10 percent of the church members still remain in the besieged city and are now serving their neighbors.
"But you know what's surprising? The church is still full; displaced people take their place. Especially Muslims are coming to the church now," Kristina said.
Most of the fighting has occurred in the eastern part of Aleppo, in heavy Muslim concentrated areas. Many Muslims have fled farther to the west and have sought a safe haven in Christian neighborhoods.
Some Muslim adults come to Kristina's church to attend various activities for their children, including the reading of Bible stories.
"The Muslims are afraid – especially when entering and leaving the building – but they are there. The children have opened the church's doors, then the women followed, and finally the men," Kristina said.
Muslims have witnessed the women of the church helping them, reaching out to provide encouragement, prayer support, and material relief.
"Many Muslims were genuinely surprised when they met Christian women in our churches willing to serve them," Kristina explained. "Their image was that all Christian women spend most of their days dancing in night clubs and drinking alcohol! Meeting each other was a shock, both for them and for us."
The Christians give them love, respect and treated them with a kindness they don't usually experience in mosques. Kristina says that approach has caused them to re-think "the faith they grew up in" and drop "their hostility towards Christians."
Facing danger and tragedy from the war, many Muslims--especially women are receptive to the Gospel message.
Kristina said Muslim women "feel liberated when they notice the church doesn't see them as merely machines only fit for cleaning, giving birth to children, and raising them, like many Muslim men do."
"In Islam, many women don't have any rights. When they feel how Christians really care for them, it feels like heaven for those women. They see it's possible to live as independent women, to dream," she explained.
Although they are surrounded by violence and face death down nearly every Aleppo alleyway, a remnant of bold Christian believers remain. They have chosen to stay behind, to be salt and light in a city overcome by darkness and despair. As a result, God is filling the church with its Muslim neighbors.
And lives are being touched and saved for eternity.
Did you know?
God is everywhere—even in the news. That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1.