“We used to think about being doctors or teachers. Now all we think about is how to feed our families. We’re carrying a heavy load on our shoulders. It’s beyond our age.” A 17-year-old Syrian refugee in Turkey said.
“The condition here is dire, but my home is here”
“I only want my kids to have a bright future, that was why I brought them to Europe”
“One day we will return to Syria and tell others our stories as refugees”
“There is nothing here for us, I wish I will be treated as a person in Europe”
“I cry for Syria, we have lost everything in Syria. I miss Syria, I miss our home.”
Living in Hong Kong, we probably feel that the refugee situation is not close to us, but their experience is real. Though we may not know, the Syrian people have been seriously affected by war and conflict there. Unfortunately, the number of refugees have reached the historic height of over 60 million.
Many of the places mentioned in the Bible are held in the grip of conflict today, and many others are hosting refugees fled from their neighbouring countries.
[ePrayer – Pray for Syria]
Can you hear Syrian voices?
The conflict has its roots in protests that erupted in mid-March 2011 in the southern city of Deraa, after the arrest and torture of some teenagers who painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall. Syria’s crisis enters its forth year and fighting in Syria between government forces and opposing groups continues to escalate. More than 100,000 lives have been lost and over 2.5 million Syrians have registered as refugees in neighbouring countries including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. With displacement inside Syria reaches over 6.5 million, the total number of people in flight internally and externally now exceeds 40% of Syria’s pre-conflict population. At least half of the displaced are children. UNHCR predicts the refugee population in the surrounding region will grow to become the largest refugee population in the world.
With a population of around 4.1 million, Lebanon already has the highest per-capita concentration of refugees of any country in recent history, with nearly 230 registered Syrian refugees for every 1,000 Lebanese. Syria’s neighbouring countries, including Lebanon and Jordan, have shown incredible generosity in continuing to offer a safe refuge for people fleeing the crisis. However, drastically increased numbers of arrivals lead to the consequence that basic services and facilities are stretched to the limit. Worse of all, more and more Syrians are putting their lives at the mercy of human smugglers.
This is the most severe humanitarian crisis in the 21st century. The unending cycle of violence, displacement, worsening health, disruption to education and learning put millions of Syrians at risk. A generation, with over 5 million Syrian children, is also at risk of being lost forever. The United Nations stressed the need for a political solution to end the conflict. Only with a political intervention will Syria and her people be rescued from further devastation.
Since 2012, Integral Alliance, a global alliance comprising of 19 Christian relief and development agencies, has been providing relief materials, food parcel, medical care and psychosocial care to Syrian refugees. CEDAR is one of the member agencies of Integral Alliance. Let us pray for Syrian refugees continually. May peace and hope prevail in Syria. [Integral Alliance, Tearfund UK, UNHCR, UN]
Meditate on Hymn:
‘Let Your Heart Be Broken’
May this hymn be your prayers and will:
Let your heart be broken for a world in need:
Feed the mouths that hunger, soothe the wounds that bleed,
Give the cup of water and the loaf of bread
Be the hands of Jesus, serving in His stead.
Here on earth applying principles of love,
Visible expression God still rules above
Living illustration of the Living Word
To the minds of all whove Never seen or heard.
Blest to be a blessing privileged to care,
Challenged by the need apparent everywhere.
Where mankind is wanting, fill the vacant place.
Be the means through which the Lord reveals His grace.
Add to your believing deeds that prove it true,
Knowing Christ as Savior, make Him Master, too.
Follow in His footsteps, go where He has trod;
In the worlds great trouble risk yourself for God.
Let your heart be tender and your vision clear;
See mankind as God sees, serve Him far and near.
Let your heart be broken by a brothers pain;
Share your rich resources, give and give again.
Pray for Syria that:
- International communities and leaders put most efforts to support an immediate end to the Syrian war;
- More support including financial assistance be given to Syria’s neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, from which protect and host can be provided to Syrian refugees;
- Lives and basic needs of Syrian refugees are secured and the refugees can return home soon.
[ePrayer – Pray for Syrian refugees]
The number of Syrians forced to seek shelter abroad since civil war began in March 2011 passed the 2 million mark, which is a jump of almost 1.8 million from last year. There is an average of almost 5,000 Syrians fleeing into neighbouring countries every day. It is said that Syrian had become a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history. Some 52 per cent of this population are children aged 17 years or below and the number of Syrian child refugees had exceeded 1 million. A further 4.25 million people are displaced inside Syria. In view of the pressure the refugee exodus is placing on surrounding countries, including the worsening economic impact, ministers from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey will meet with UNHCR in Geneva in a bid to accelerate international support. [UNHCR]
Pray for Syrian refugees:
- Pray for cease of civil war in Syrian and people are able to live in peace ;
- Pray for humanitarian aid to alleviate people suffering and provide the required support to neighbouring countries;
- Remember the refugees and displaced people that they can go back to their homeland soon and rebuild their homes
[ePrayer – Pray for the refugees camps in Jordan]
The conflict between for and anti-Syrian Ba’ath Party government is still ongoing after its break out in March 2011. Till February 2013, the Syrian conflict has caused 70,000 deaths, about 1.2 million displaced in Syria and as many as 1 million Syrian refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries such as Jordan.
Za’atari camp is one of the camps for the Syrian refugees in Jordan. It was originally built to accommodate around 60,000 Syrian refugees yet it is now hosting at least 140,000. As the numbers in Za’atari have swelled, safety and security have degenerated. Aid workers have frequently faced attack during aid distributions. Tents, mattresses, gas and other products are smuggled in and out through a thriving black market, which often charges refugees exploitative prices for essential goods. The Jordanian government is implementing measures to improve security for the camp, but aid workers say the efforts are limited by funding constraints and have yet to make a difference. [Guardian, CNN, Reuters]
Pray for the refugees camps in Jordan:
- Pray for God’s protection and provision to Syrian refugees in Jordan;
- Pray for the safety of aid workers, journalists and citizens there;
- Pray that people with experience and proper training can support the fundraising, aid distribution and management of refugee camp sites.