“God, give us peace!”


Thousands of children in Syria celebrated “International Children’s Day” as a prayer day for peace


On June 1, thousands of children of all denominations gathered in several Syrian cities to celebrate “International Children’s Day” as a prayer day for peace. In Homs, this was the first public event held with children since the liberation of the city. From there, the Christian television station “Tele Lumière” broadcast the initiative all over the Middle East. More than 700 children dressed in white gathered together with the Catholic and Orthodox bishops in what was once a city under siege, a city in which Jesuit father Frans van der Lugt was murdered in April of 2014. They made their way through the city in a procession, stopping to pray together at the churches of the various Christian denominations.


Christian children from different confessions, gathered in all the country to pray for peace, June 1st 2016
Children from different confessions, gathered throughout  the country to pray for peace, on June 1st 2016


Bishop Abdo Arbach, the Melkite Greek Catholic bishop of Homs, held an address that has been relayed to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). He said: “We have had enough of war, of destruction, of child trafficking. We want to live, we want to enrich our children with a good upbringing. (…) We will never accept that they have to live without hope and far away from their homes!” He appealed to the international community “that this war may end and that they act as per human rights charter and children’s rights. God, give us peace!”


The destroyed Melkite Greek Catholic cathedral, which is consecrated to “Our Lady, Queen of Peace”, was adorned with a monumental poster of the Infant Jesus of Prague. In the Melkite cathedral, the bishops joined the children in a prayer to the Infant Jesus. Bishop Arbach said that the Infant Jesus is “the source of peace for our children and our country because His greeting is ‘Peace be with you’.” They also lit candles before a statue of the Infant Jesus.


Similar events, which continued throughout the day, were also simultaneously held in Damascus, Tartus, Marmarita and Aleppo. “We hope that these children’s initiative spreads and many other children all over the world pray for peace,” the Maronite bishop of Latakia and Tartus, Msgr. Antoine Chbeir, said to the pastoral charity. In Tartus, children also showed posters they had drawn, in which they asked for prayers for peace as well as the end of terrorism and the war in Syria.


The message from the Syrian children is clear (June 1st 2016).
The message to the world from Syrian children is clear (June 1st 2016).


Peace procession and Prayer day in Syria on the Day of the Child, 01.06.2016
Procession for peace in Tartous, Syria

During the Angelus prayer on May 29, Pope Francis had invited children all over the world to join the children in Syria in their prayer for peace. The Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs of the country issued a joint message calling upon children to observe this prayer day, which began as an initiative of the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need.  


The organization  sent close to 8 million dollars in help for Syrians in 2015





Catholic and Orthodox representatives gathering together with the children in Homs for peace procession, prayer and activities on the “International Day of the Child” on 1th of June 2016. Here, in the greatly destroied church of Our Lady, Queen of peace.
Catholic and Orthodox representatives gathered together with children in Homs , for peace procession, prayer and activities on the “International Day of the Child” on 1st of June 201 in the church ruins of Our Lady, Queen of Peace.           











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