Christians praying for Syria

Christians around the world are praying for a return to peace in Syria.

The day of prayer is in response to a request from church leaders in the conflict-stricken country.

Churches across Syria are taking part in the day of prayer. They are praying specifically for peace and the safe return of those who have been kidnapped, including Archbishop Boulos Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church and Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church, who were abducted by gunmen while on a humanitarian mission last month.

The churches are also praying for unity among Christians and good relations with Muslims in the country.

An estimated 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Syria, while over a million have fled to neighbouring countries.

Despite the dangers, church leaders in Syria are urging Christians not to leave.

World Watch Monitor reported last month that the nephew of Bishop Ibrahim, Jamil Diarbakerli, said his uncle would want Christians to remain in Syria.

"Things can change dramatically after the kidnapping of two important Christian leaders, but even though there is a war in Aleppo, the two bishops stayed and want their people to do the same - not to leave the country, not to empty Syria of Christians," he said.