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 this year. Death and destruction continue to reign down on innocent people.
And now missiles have been been fired over night from western powers into Syria. According to the BBC, “Explosions hit the capital, Damascus, as well as two locations near the city of Homs, the Pentagon said. Russia’s ambassador to the US responded by saying the attack on its ally ‘will not be left without consequences.'”
Najla Kassab, our 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.
We also join with our sisters and brothers of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) who have expressed “grave concern over the dangerous escalation of the conflict in Syria” and are calling for alleged breaches of international law banning the use of chemical weapons to be independently investigated and addressed thoroughly and swiftly.
The LWF calls upon the leaders of governments and the United Nations to:
- Make use of the available instruments, conventions and procedures to address any dispute and conflict among and within States, as well as any breach of international obligations;
- Not to dismiss or ignore these instruments, conventions and procedures, where they may have failed to deliver on their purpose. Instead, urgently reform and improve them so that they work for the sake of humankind;
- Remain accountable to customary International Law while addressing conflict and alleged breaches of internationally binding conventions.
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.
We offer this prayer:
When bombs drop
When life is at risk
When children are orphaned
Because bombs drop
We seek your peace O Lord
Looking for the time when we will exchange
Our weapons of mass destruction
For plowshares and pruning hooks
Remove our fear
And help us to build trust
Because with every bomb that drops
We are less human
That together we may say
No more bombs