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Journal of Global Justice & Public Policy Global Initiative Focus Nation: Syria

The Journal of Global Justice and Public Policy Global Initiative publishes bi-monthly reports targeting countries experiencing human rights violations.  Each report briefly discusses that country’s history and population, and proffers specific prayer requests.
Capital City: Damascus
Government: Republic
Population: 20,178,485
Major People Groups: 92% Arab, 7% Kurd, 1% Armenian
Religion: 90% Muslim, 5% Christian, 2% Non
Language: Arabic/Kurdish
GDP Per Capita: $4,100
Literacy Rate: 79.6%
Nestled between Turkey and Lebanon, modern-day Syria boasts a population of over 22 million people, 90% of which are Arabs. Syria’s location on the fertile Mediterranean coast makes agriculture and tourism a critical part of its struggling
economy. Numerous coups and political instability have been the norm and led the heavy-handed Hafez Al-Assad to come to power in 1970. Conflicts have arisen more recently as part of the Arab Spring, a sign of social turmoil in the Arab World.  Protesters are calling for greater political freedom and the resignation of Hafez’s son, Bashar, who rules with the same force as his father. The government has responded with great military force, which has served only to increase demonstrations across the country. Upwards of 7,000 people have been killed in these conflicts.  The political unrest has slowed economic growth because of international sanctions, and domestic consumption and production have declined as people flee the country. (
During the almost half decade of brutal civil strife, justice and accountability have been severely neglected. An impressive array of commissions, human rights groups, and private organizations have done a remarkable job gathering evidence that might, one day, be used to bring perpetrators of mass atrocities in Syria to account. But the sad truth is there has been no real prospect for criminal accountability in the country. As useful as they may one day prove to be, the investigations that have taken place to date have occurred in the shadows of the war and have often been conducted by individuals taking massive personal risks.
• Pray for a swift end to the horrific civil war with people of peace rising to leadership.
• Pray for Jesus to reveal Himself to the millions of Muslims displaced by the war.
• Pray for the Church to be protected and expanded amid hostility.