Syria Tragedies: Pray & Act for Peace
The tragic war in Syria -- which has brought death and suffering to the Syrian people for six years -- reached a new heartbreaking low this week with the horrifying chemical weapons attack against a defenseless civilian population in Idlib Province, and the response of our government with unauthorized missle attacks on Syria’s Al Shayrat airfield.
Many of our partner faith-based organizations have issued statements and calls to action in response to the ongoing war and most recent tragedies, condeming both the use of chemical weapons and the retaliatory attacks by the U.S. Especially during our Jewish and Christian holy days this week, MVPJ encourages us all to pray fervently for the people of Syria and speak out boldly for actions that will bring humanitarian relief and authentic peace.
The Fellowship of Reconciliation issued a statement calling for international diplomacy and global humanitarian aid while urging us to contact our Senators and Congressional Representatives and tell them that the military attacks only increase the dangers and intensify the humanitarian catastrophe in the region. Click here to read and act!
The Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) reasserts that "war is not the answer" and calls for efforts to stop the U.S. from escalating war. Click here to read their statement and respond to their action alert. They offer a conference call with experts on April 12 (click here to RSVP), and encourage face-to-face meetings with Congressmembers while they are in-district April 7-24.
The Pax Christi USA (Catholic) statement grieves the hearbreaking situation, reminding us of the truth that hate begets hate, violence begets violence.
MVPJ asks everyone to contact your representatives in Congress, urging them to oppose any further military action, and call on the Administration to work with the United Nations to intensify the use of humanitarian aid and diplomatic efforts to find a peaceful resolution to this senseless conflict. (Click here for contact information, and consider visiting your Congressmember while s/he is in town!)
We condemn all acts of terrorism to achieve political ends; attacks on innocents praying in church, hiding in their homes or walking down a street can never be justified. We appeal to all who may be tempted to commit violence to remember that peace is not achieved through vengeance or the exercise of raw power, but with mercy and compassion for all.
We conclude with this excerpt from the Fellowship of Reconciliation:
We are mistaken if we believe that the violence emanating from Syria is not connected to the global militarized culture which the United States Perpetuates. By the same token, every daughter gasping for air through the searing pain of inhaling nerve gas is our own daughter. Every mother weeping over every son killed in active and armed confict in Syria is our own mother, our own son. We are they and they are us. If we hold this truth, we will be able to see the conflict differently and will be led to solutions that seek peace for all rather than a one-sided victory.