Global Call for Actions of Solidarity and Days of Prayer and Fasting for Syria
In solidarity of all victims of this brutal war
15 March 2016: 5 years since the start of the protests
Pax Christi International is calling on our Global Network and people of good will to organise acts of solidarity and days of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria between 15 and 20 March 2016. We call on individuals and organisations to show solidarity with refugees and victims of war and violence and create signs of hope that peace can come again in Syria.
In March 2011, Syrian civilians started non-violent demonstrations to demand basic freedoms and rights. The regime’s extreme repression led to the militarisation of the protests, evolving to a systemic war that has affected the whole region.
In the five years since, more than 250.000 people have been killed, more than 13.5 million people inside Syria are in need of emergency relief and 6.5 million civilians are internally displaced, including hundreds of thousands in besieged cities, deprived of food and basic services. Moreover, more than 4.6 million Syrian refugees have fled to neighbouring countries and the wider region.
The conflict in Syria has also worsened the situation of the Palestinian refugees in Syria and Iraqi refugees living in the region. Their plight must not be forgotten. We are also in solidarity with the thousands of civil society activists in Syria. Despite scarce resources and limited solidarity, they continue their struggle for justice and are intensely engaged in humanitarian relief efforts.
This war has lasted too long and there is no prospect that it will end soon. The destruction of human lives and of a whole country must come to an end.
Pax Christi International calls for:
- respect for human lives and the protection of civilians to be paramount,
- the attacks against civilians and the bombardment of infrastructure to come to an end,
- the sieges to be ended,
- talks to be intensified
Organising an action of solidarity or day of fasting or prayer is also an occasion to meet with refugees in your own community. Please share your events and stories and photos with us via Facebook or Twitter (#HopeforSyria). In the course of the coming weeks we will provide you with update information so that you can prepare your actions.
Brussels, 16 February 2016
Picture: © Crane of Hopes by Hardi Saputra at http://bit.ly/1U5Mmb7; edited by Pax Christi International