Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Orthodox and Catholic children across Syria to pray for peace

(Gospel Herald) - For the children of Syria, divine intervention is their only hope for peace to their homeland. Concrete actions, not words of support from the international community is the other cry of aid workers and doctors to protect them from deadly attacks.

Hundreds of Orthodox and Catholic children across Syria will be joining the prayer gatherings and processions to take place in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Tartus and Marmarita on June 1 to mark the International Children's Day.

"Look upon the tears of the children; dry the tears of the mothers; let the cries of grief at last fall silent!" Syrian Catholic and Orthodox Patriarchs said in a joint statement.

In Istanbul, the head of the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organization told delegates at the second day of the World Humanitarian Summit that aid workers and doctors need protection from the deadly attacks, and aid should reach those most in need.

"Being a doctor inside Syria means waiting for death," Zedoun Al Zoubi said.

This two facets of desperations wrap Syria as the civil war enters its sixth year. From 2011 when it broke out 11 million people, or half of its population fled their homes. Around 4.8 million have taken refuge in neighbouring countries or even farther afield. The rests are left with the risk of being caught in the cross fire, harass or abuse.

The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) said for over five years these children have been dragged through a cruel war, wounded, traumatized or even killed, and many have lost their parents.

"The tears of these children are their sufferings cry out of heaven," the joint statement said.

Maronite Bishop Antoine Chbeir of Lattakia is hoping the initiative will draw attention and encourages people around the world to pray for Syria.

"We are hoping that this campaign will continue, so that the light of peace can shine forth brightly," he said.

At least 13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance within Syria itself, and 320,000 people have been killed since the conflict began, including nearly 12,000 children.

In Istanbul, on the second day of the summit, Al Zoubi said Syria is left with a handful of 1,000 doctors as over 9,000 of them has rushed out the country as the conflict drags on.

He said hospitals are supposed to be the safest place in the world, but in Syria they are the riskiest because they are now targets by ground or air assaults.

He said people are building hospitals underground, and in caves but are still being attack and bombed.

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