Syrian Catholic prelate urges global prayer campaign for peace
January 17, 2014
Syria’s leading Catholice prelate has called for “a global prayer campaign for peace in Syria, the Holy Land, the Arab world and the whole world.”
Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham, speaking in his capacity as president of the Syrian Catholic bishops’ assembly, has called upon all Syrian Catholics to pray for peace, and appealed to Christians everywhere to join in the campaign. His plea comes on the even of a Geneva conference on peace in the Middle East. In a separate statement, the Melkite Patriarch encouraged world leaders to take effective action toward “obtaining a peace that is really Syrian.”
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) reported that after 3 years of bitter fighting in Syria, almost 9 million people—nearly 40% of the country’s pre-war population—have been driven from their homes by the fighting, with 2.3 million refugees now taking shelter abroad and 6.5 million living as displaced persons inside their own country. Over 100,000 people have died in the fighting.