There has been a Christian church in Syria since the days Paul the apostle was converted on the road to Damascus. Never has the Christian church in Syria faced greater difficulties.
There were 2.3 million Christians in the country. Because they were allowed freedom to practise their faith by President Assad, opposition fighters - many of them militant Islamists - assume they support his regime. Christians are being kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered.
Almost the entire Christian population of one city - some 60,000 - have fled. Some have been dying because of hardship and lack of medicines.
Some have been held for exorbitant ransoms families cannot pay. Some families have asked for their loved ones to be killed outright rather than face brutal torture. Christian homes have been invaded and pillaged.
One church leader said "I am not very optimistic that our Christian community will survive." Those left face a cold winter with no income.
But in the midst of darkness, the light shines. "When you hear about one Muslim coming to Christ, it's a great thing, and everybody rejoices," said a contact of Voice of the Martyrs in Syria. "Today in Syria I'm not talking about one person. We're talking about hundreds and even thousands of Muslims coming to Christ."
Muslims have attacked 85 churches in Egypt. Almost 80 Christians were killed outside a church in Pakistan. Forty students were shot dead in their beds in Nigeria.
Two Christian organisations providing aid are Barnabas Fund (www.barnabasfund.org) and Open Doors (www.opendoorsuk.org).
Whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3: 17, 18.