The following information is from Bold Believers in Syria, available in the Downloads section.
“So the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying’ ” (Acts 9:11).
(The verse above is from the story about Saul in the Book of Acts. The Lord was speaking to Ananias. The Judas in the story is not the one who betrayed Jesus.)
Damascus is the capital of Syria. Straight Street is still a street in Damascus today. Visitors can see the street where Saul stayed after his encounter with Jesus on the way to the city. In the Chapel of Saint Ananias in Damascus, Christians can remember the events in Saul’s life. (See the previous post.)
The Damascus rose is a flower named after the Syrian city. Oil from the flower is used in perfume and cosmetics.
Damascus steel was used to make strong knives and swords. People who made them kept their method a secret. After a while the secret was lost, and no one remembered how to make the knives and swords. Damascus steel was said to be “superplastic,” meaning it would be easily shaped when heated. But it was very strong when it was cool.
Damask cloth, named after the city of Damascus, is used for furniture coverings, tablecloths, and sometimes clothing. The cloth is thick and is decorated in distinctive patterns.
The following information is from The Voice of the Martyrs’ Global Prayer Guide. Syrian Christians’ lives have been severely disrupted since the civil war began in 2011. Between 750,000 and 1 million Christians have fled the country. In the same period, many Muslims have come to Christ.
Churches in Syria have been a beacon of hope and a source of peace for Syrians of all backgrounds throughout the war. Syrians come to the church for a number of reasons: out of desperation, in search of food, in search of meaning and truth, and many times with questions about the hope that Syrian Christians have.
The news that neighboring host countries may send Syrian refugees home brings optimism for Syrian believers, because those who came to faith in nearby countries could return and strengthen local churches.