The Church in Wales is calling for concerted diplomatic action rather than an escalation of violence in response to the suspected chemical attack in Syria.
The emergency motion passed at the meeting of its Governing Body is as follows:
That the Governing Body:
- Note with alarm the return to the international agenda of the possibility of heavy bombardment and violent intervention in the situation in Syria;
- While condemning the use of chemical weapons, is mindful of the complexities of the situation which rule out simplistic answers;
- Call upon the UK Government to prioritise concerted diplomatic action to secure more peaceful and consensual international responses rather than an escalation of violence.
The Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, who brought the motion, said, “I am delighted that Governing Body is able to add its voice to this important issue to call for peace and justice in the Middle East. The situation is deeply complex but a rush to flex military muscles is not, in my opinion, a wise reaction. We are asking all Christians and people of faith to hold Syria in their prayers at this tense time.”
Pray for Syria
Churches are encouraged this weekend to use these special prayers for the situation in Syria. The prayers have been prepared by Christian organisations working in the region.
From Embrace the Middle East:
God of the weak,
defender of the powerless,
who weeps with the women,
whose children are no more,
protect the people of Syria this day.
Lord of hope and new beginnings bring;
your peace in this time of violence,
your comfort to those in anguish,
your respite from fear.
Until that time
when all hatred and anger will evaporate
and our weapons will rust with irrelevance.
From Open Doors:
The Prayer of a Syrian Christian:
Thank you Lord, for all that you have done and are still doing.
I trust your will is always good, and finally will turn evil to good.
I know you are not silent, but patient…
But how long will it take, Lord?
I am looking forward to a new beginning amongst my people.
My own desire is that evil will stop, and that we will see your glory shine again in the darkness.
I’m longing for healing, for restoration. I cry out to you, Lord.
I’m longing for a new generation to take their place in your kingdom,
To be the light and salt of this nation.
Help me to see my role in this transformation.
Protect me and be with me.
Carry me, day by day.