Understanding Syria and Its History

carl-medearisSyria is the talk of the nation right. It is everywhere.

In fact tonight the US president is going to address the nation in a bid to convince folks that the US should start bombing Syria. An action, which for the record, I disagree with as I’m becoming more and more of pacifist….

Yet in all the noise about Syria, some things get lost. Things that should not get lost. Things like history. People. Culture. Concepts and the like.

To help us remember these things, I would like to highlight two post by Carl Medearis about Syria. Carl is an outstanding follower of Jesus as well as an international expert in the field of Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations. He is also the author of two books I really, really like (“Speaking of Jesus” and “Muslims, Christians and Jesus”) – not to mention that he is friends with a some folks I highly respect (i.e. Dr. Rick Love, Jay Pathak among others).

In other words, Carl is one of the few voices I trust when it comes to talking about the Middle East – hence this post highlighting his most recent post about Syria.

Post 1: “Understanding Syria. And what do we do now?”


Carl outlines eight basic facts about Syria that most folks don’t know about. Things like how Syria is 23 million people with a lot of different tribes and sects, making the internal politics very confusing. Also how the US interests in Syria has to do less with chemical weapons and more with de-arming the Hezbollah who gets their support from Iran through Syria.


It’s an internal struggle for the heart and soul of Syria – that (as painful as it is to watch) is Syria’s to figure out. Stepping in when we don’t understand what we’re stepping into will only increase the pain and prolong the struggle.

As people who follow the way of Jesus – we can pray. And fast. And do what we can to serve the horrendous humanitarian crisis unfolding in Lebanon and Jordan with Syrian refugees. Now may be the time to serve them in the name of Jesus with open heart and hands.

So we are not passive. We should act. Just choose your actions wisely. The Syrians on the borders are waiting for our help.

Post 2: “Syria. Why history matters.”


In this post, Carl gives a brief historical overview of Syria – highlighting the fact that ignorance of history can lead to grave mistakes that could endanger or kill people. He also points out some cool facts about Syria like how oldest church building in the world is found in Syria. Or how Muslims and Christians have typically lived in peace in Syria for years.


We love Syria. We love the Syrian people. They are a vibrant energetic wonderful collage of God-created human beings. And if we’re going to bomb them – any of them – we should at least know who “they” are. Otherwise we’re tempted to think that “those bad people” who are 7000 miles away (from Denver) aren’t really humans. Just like us. Who eat, breathe, love, get angry, want to reconcile – but don’t know how – and are created in the same image we all are – God’s. “They,” are in fact, “us.”

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