World Communion of Reformed Churches: Call for Peace in Syria
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.
“We call for violence to cease in Syria immediately and pray for peace to spread like ripples from there throughout the entire region.” -World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) Executive Committee, 15 May 2015
Since this call for peace for Syria, millions of people have been displaced from their homes and hundreds of thousands have been killed. The war has not abated and has grown more intense in recent weeks. Despite an agreement by the United Nations for a ceasefire, death and destruction continue to reign down on innocent people, especially in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus.
Najla Kassab, WCRC president and a member of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL), has said, “Innocent civilians are paying the price. We condemn killing on both sides and condemn all groups who are supporting both sides and are providing weapons to the area.”
The WCRC renews its call to all governments involved in this situation to take concrete steps to bring peace to all of Syria, to honor the ceasefire and to allow adequate aid to reach the victims.
SEE the WCRC website with additional statements about the Syrian crisis.
The WCRC calls on its member churches to continue their efforts to advocate for peace, welcome refugees and support NESSL and other churches that are on the frontlines of providing assistance to those impacted by the war.
See this additional information from the WCRC:
- A renewed call for immediate peace in Syria (April 7, 2017)
- Syrian Christians create space for hope (August 24, 2016)
- Reformed Partnership Fund: Rescuing Syrian children (April 15, 2016)
- Statement on the Middle East (May 15, 2015)
Syria's Civil War is Far From Over
In this video from the Brookings Creative Lab Unpacked series, Mara Karlin describes the complexity of the Syrian war and its wide array of "actors" from a western perspective. It also raises some questions about what comes next for US policy in facing reconstruction and humanitarian aid. Karlin is an associate professor of the practice of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
From the Beirut Daily Star: United Nations Report on Civilian Deaths in Eastern Ghouta
The situation in Eastern Ghouta is complex. And it is tragic. We continue to pray for the people who are suffering, for medics and aid workers who are trying to help, and for those attempting to broker peace. This recent article from the Beirut Daily Star provides information on the various sides involved in this ongoing conflict.
From the Washington Post: To Save Syrians ...
Throughout the 7-year struggle in Syria, our Presbyterian partners (the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon – NESSL) have reminded us that they are suffering from proxy wars fostered by various foreign governments and groups – and that if foreign interventions would cease, the Syrians themselves would find a way to end the struggle and the suffering.
Washington Post columnist Max Boot essentially adopts this perspective in his March 8, 2018 opinion piece saying, “It’s not right…to use Syrians as cannon fodder in a great power rivalry when they have no hope of winning.” That is not an ideological statement or a very politically satisfying one. It is simply the moral conclusion that hundreds of thousands of human lives outweigh conflicting political agendas - including our own. Read the article and decide whether you agree.
A Note about News Media
There are a number of perspectives on the current crisis in Syria and Lebanon. The US media tend to offer one perspective that is not shared by our partners. We post here additional news sources and links that provide a broader perspective of what is happening in the two countries, by those who have some experience in the region. We encourage all our followers to take in what views are offered and to think critically, pray, and share with one another, that we might clarify the truth in any matter.