Syria: Churches under fire; Archbishop Nassar calls for prayers

Syria: Churches under fire; Archbishop Nassar calls for prayers

Church leaders across Syria have spoken about the faithful’s suffering following military bombardments in a number of the country’s regions.

In an update received by Aid to the Church in Need, Maronite Archbi, of which seven were children who were hit as they left school.”

The archbishop described the community’s fear and anguish following the loss of life. He added: “At the Patriarchate there was more, serious damage – on top of the destruction caused by the bomb of January 8th”.

The initial shelling caused major damage to the Cathedral’s doors and windows as well as fuel tanks and water tanks.

Archbishop Samir Nassar called for prayers for peace on January 25th on the feast of St. Paul’s conversion, asking Christians around the world to join with them in prayer when they celebrate Mass.

He wrote: “The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has turned towards peace and forgiveness. Please unite with us in our Eucharist on January 25, the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul.”

In Afrin, northern Syria, where Turkey started military action on Sunday January 21, Reverend Valentin Hanan of the Good Shepherd Church made an urgent appeal for an immediate ceasefire – also asking Christians to pray for them.

He wrote: “We call for urgent international protection for the believers in Afrin and to stop the Turkish bombardment.”

Fearful of bombs and the threat of extremism, he added: “At this moment, we are subjected to heavy shelling and the Islamic factions vow to enter the city. As a church we ask the Lord first for protection and then ask brethren for prayers and help.”

Describing the Christian community as being under siege, he said that the city has experienced heavy shelling. According to the report there are hundreds of Christian families in Afrin Canton.

Turkey claimed the bombardments were targeting Daesh (ISIS) fighters in the region, but the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have disputed this claim.

Archbishop Nassar’s prayer:

"O Lord Jesus, for peace in the Middle East. For the work and workers of the ACN, that the Lord will bless their endeavours to care for the suffering people in their outreach, and that all peoples of peace, Christian and Muslim may experience the love of God."

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 14:12
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