A day of solidarity with Christians in Syria
Aid to the Church in Need, who has since the onset of the war four years ago – given $8.675 million dollars in emergency aid, supports the appeal for prayer of Patriarch Gregorios III
Maria Lozano, ACN International
Adapted by Amanda Griffin, ACN Canada ACN
Montreal/Königstein Thursday March 13, 2015 – Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch, the head of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church, which is in communion with Rome, has called for a day of solidarity with Syria on March 15 of this year. On this day, four years ago, the protests began in the city of Deraa against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad which led to the war.
The international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) which in an unprecedented aid campaign has given 8.675 million dollars in aid since the beginning of the war, is supporting this prayer initiative by the patriarch. “Four years on from the beginning of the war, the situation of millions of people in Syria is catastrophic,“ said the executive president of ACN, Baron Johannes Heereman. “With the spread of the conflict into the neighbouring countries, the situation has become still more desperate,” he added, “the more so since the interest on the part of the international community has clearly dwindled. That is why we are providing emergency aid for families in Aleppo, Homs, Damascus and other affected areas. We are helping to supply basic foodstuffs, medicines, primary medical care, and financial help with rent for lodgings, heating and electricity. But money can only help to ease the suffering, nor end the war.”
An appeal to the whole world: Enough! Enough! Enough of the war in Syria!
ACN would therefore like to extend by one day the call put forth by Pope Francis to a 24-hour period of adoration and prayer for peace, from 13-14 March so that we may also pray together on March 15 with the Christians of Syria and the Middle East for an end to the war and to the suffering. In his appeal Patriarch Gregorios III goes on to say: “Lent is a Way of the Cross, and we are now in the fifth year of this Way of the Cross for the Arab nations. We are today experiencing the greatest tragedy since the Second World War. We are lost in the face of the immense pain that our people are enduring, in all its Christian and Muslim communities. Absolutely everybody is suffering from poverty, hunger, and cold, lack of clothing, sickness and physical handicap. In suffering all of us are equal. “ The appeal for a World Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Syria continues: “In deepest suffering and pain in Syria, and together with our suffering people, who are walking a bloody Way of the Cross, we appeal to the whole world: Enough! Enough! Enough of the war in Syria! We believe in the power of prayer and fasting and we are calling for a day of solidarity with Syria, a day of fasting and prayer for hope and peace in Syria.”
The Way of the Cross for Syria
On Saturday March 21, this day of prayer will be followed by the Way of the Cross for Syria over 14 days and conclude Holy Good Friday, April 3. You can follow the unfolding of this event on our website at www.acn.aed.ca.org, where you will find there a text written by the Episcopal Commission of the Family in Syria. More than ever before, Christians of Syria need us to be in solidarity with them.