Rise in Christian converts reported in Syrian city of Kobani; The once Kurdish region was taken over by ISIS until 2015; New Christians cite war and deviation from Islam as reasons for converting; 300 killed in Sri Lanka attacks.

An Evangelical church was recently opened in the Syrian town of Kobani given the rise of conversions to Christianity by Kurds and some Syrians. According to multiple reports, the first published by Reuters, there has been a spike in converts to Christianity over the past year, many citing Syria’s ongoing atrocities and radical Islamic factions, mainly ISIS, as their reasons for converting. The radicalization of Sunni Islam and abuses by ISIS have been said to have led many to search for faith and religion outside of Islam.

Kobani is located in northern Syria in the Aleppo region and was heavily affected by the war given the Islamic State. The once predominately Kurdish town was taken over by People’s Protection Units (YPG) in 2012 until 2014 when ISIS took over several areas in the region. The region was hit heavily by US-backed forces carrying out multiple airstrikes throughout 2014-2015 in the city located close to the Syrian-Turkish border.

The situation for Christians in the Middle East has been dire, with dozens of terror attacks by Islamic factions on churches and places of worship. Israel is the only country that is a safe haven for Christians and has absorbed Christian refugees from Lebanon, Syria and Egypt in the past. The Islamic State’s campaign to eradicate Christians throughout Middle Eastern countries led to massacres, human and sex trafficking and forced conversions in Syria, Iraq and Libya, with multiple terror attacks in Egypt.

Asia and Africa have also been plagued by Islamic-based terror and genocide of Christian minorities. As Christians in Sri Lanka celebrated Easter on Sunday, a series of explosions on 7 Christian sites killed 290, a reported 34 of those killed foreigners, and injured over 500 more. High death tolls in Batticaloa, Colombo, and Negombo were reported. The Sri Lankan government believes the Islamic terrorist organization the National Thowheeth Jamaath carried out the attacks. There were multiple warnings and reports that the terror organization was planning to carry out attacks on churches in Sri Lanka ten days prior to Sunday’s massacres. Sri Lanka continues to look for suspects and has made 24 arrests according to its Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene.

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