Last Saturday Open Doors held a prayer event for Syria. Two days later Ban Ki-Moon announced that the Geneva II talks on the future of Syria would take place on 22 January 2014. The stories that were shared last Saturday from Christians in Syria were heart-breaking, challenging and encouraging – people deciding to risk their lives for the sake of remaining to be a witness to the gospel of the love of Christ.
Already over 250,000 people from more than 70 countries have signed a petition urging all those with influence and power to do everything possible to protect the lives, livelihoods and freedoms of all the people of Syria and in particular safeguard the future of the Christian communities.
On Tuesday 10 December—International Human Rights Day—we hope to have 500,000 signatures that will be presented simultaneously in New York to the UN missions of the five permanent members of the Security Council and to many of their embassies across the world. Yesterday I posted the letters to the Ambassadors in London; we are waiting to hear if David Cameron will receive the petition at 10 Downing Street.
It would be great if you could back this with your prayers. There have already been miracles: in August we were anticipating US air strikes on Syria. Now we have a date for talks in Geneva—and we are doing our best to ensure that the voice of the Christians in Syria will be heard there too.
But a Christian mother in Damascus asks “Christian people are being attacked, whole Christian villages are being purged. Why does the church in the west shut up? The government doesn’t protect us. Why does no-one care that Christians are dying?”
Following the recent massacre in Sadad, Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh issued a challenge to Christians around the world saying, “We have shouted out to the world, but no-one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers?”
If there is any way you and your church can be there for them this Sunday (or next) the resources from last Saturday might be of help: you’ll find links to them at the bottom of the web page. The videos are, I think, powerful; the poem, delivered last Saturday by the young woman who wrote it, I found deeply moving.
The Save Syria petition can be signed at www.opendoorsuk.org/savesyria