...What started as a non-violent movement for basic rights in
March of 2011 has since spiraled into a civil war after being hijacked by armed groups, including some radical Islamists. The Presbyterian Synod of Syria and Lebanon has been addressing the humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons by providing food, medical supplies, shelter and pastoral care. Presbyterian World Mission, in solidarity with our partner churches in Syria and Lebanon, urge all Presbyterians to pray for an end to the fighting and advocate for a peaceful solution. Please pray that God will instill a feeling of hope in the lives of those who have lost so much.
PDA (Presbyterian Disaster Assistance) is responding to the rising violence that continues to impact Syrians. Approximately 6.8 million people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance due to the ongoing conflict. There are more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees being hosted across five countries — Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt — each with its own set of domestic priorities and concerns in which events in Syria and the influx of refugees are increasingly playing a central role. Many who have crossed the Syrian border are experiencing a different type of crisis: life in a refugee camp where the needs to provide water, sanitation, food, shelter, health care and security greatly stretches the organizations providing these services.
The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan has become the second largest refugee camp in the world (behind the Dadaab camp in Kenya) and has become Jordan’s fourth largest city. Over 60% of the camp’s population is children, and many of the households are headed by women. Recent numbers estimate that almost half of the number of refugees — a staggering one million — are children.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) continues, through the National
Evangelical (Presbyterian) Synod of Syria and Lebanon and the ACT Alliance, to
provide food, hygiene kits, bedding, support to health workers, provision of
psychosocial counselors, and support for students to continue their
The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, joined
with more than 20 ecumenical colleagues, in calling on the United States government to keep its attention on the Syrian Civil War and act accordingly
to bring stability and peace to the region; and on August 30, 2013, issued a statement in the wake of the escalating violence in Syria.
How you can help:
Stand in the GAP for disaster survivors as you Give, Act, and Pray.
Give. Please generously share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR000081 – Middle East. Write “Syria” on the reference line if mailing a check.
Act. The PC(USA) Office of Public Witness has issued an Action Alert on Syria to oppose military action. Visit their blog to learn how you can advocate for this
action. More than 26,100 Gift of the Heart school kits have been sent to
provide some of the basic supplies needed for children in refugee camps. Learn how to make the kits.
Pray. At this difficult and uncertain time ,PDA asks that you keep the people of Syria in your thoughts and prayers. Please pray:
- For all those whose lives have been and continue to be affected,
- For those who have lost friends and family during this crisis,
- For those who are displaced,
- For those working to deliver humanitarian assistance,
- For an end to violence and the beginning of negotiations for a solution that
meets the democratic aspiration of the Syrian people,
- That access will be open for humanitarian assistance to get through to those in need.
Visit the Syria disaster response index for previous PDA updates and the World Mission website for background information on Syria.