“The Syrian government ordered the closure of numerous ‘house churches’ for meeting in places the government deems inappropriate for worship. Many congregations in Syria cannot afford to buy a plot of land and build a church, so instead they purchase an apartment and turn it into a place of worship. However, during the past few months, the government has enforced a law stating that congregations must only gather in buildings that resemble a church.
Many Syrian Christians, however, believe that the government’s ‘legal’ excuse for closing churches is merely a cover-up for a wider government crackdown against evangelical Christian activity in Syria. ‘Syrian Christians that are active in their faith know that they are watched very closely and the government is waiting for an excuse to crack down on them,’ a Syrian Christian told ICC. ‘The government is targeting all religious activities which are considered ‘extreme’ — from Muslim extremists all the way to Christians… It is generally believed that the government is getting reports from Orthodox and certain denominations as well as secret police and certain Islamic congregations.'”