URC Moderators join call for urgent action to end violence in Syria

Syria mapThe United Reformed Church General Assembly Moderators, Derek Estill and the Revd Nigel Uden, with leaders from the Methodist Church and Baptists Together, have urged the UK Government to work for peace in Syria. Recent military attacks in the north-east of the country have left unarmed civilians caught between two fighting parties.

The pastors of three local churches have shared their concerns for the desperate situation facing families in the area, which includes disruption to the water supply, bombings, food prices soaring, people unable to attend their workplaces and some aged under 45 being forced to join the fighting. With the cold of winter fast approaching, people of north-eastern Syria are understandably deeply distressed and wish to live in peace and safety but they need help.

Statement on Syria

Following reports from our Church partners in Syria, we are extremely concerned about the impact on civilians of the assault on north-eastern Syria by Turkey. 

The diverse people of the region were just beginning to see some respite from the turmoil and destruction that has overtaken them during the past 8 years of war.  The region urgently needs a political settlement that guarantees a place for every citizen. The people of north-eastern Syria, both Muslim and Christian, need and desperately long for freedom and stability in order to live side by side in peace.

We appeal to the UK Government to take urgent and decisive political action to ensure that a further escalation of conflict is averted.  We appeal for all parties to work for a sustainable peace based on agreements that guarantee respect for human rights and a complete rejection of violence.

Mr Derek Estill, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church
Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, President of the Conference of the Methodist Church
Prof. Clive Marsh, Vice-President of the Conference of the Methodist Church
Revd Tony Peck, General Secretary, European Baptist Federation
Revd Nigel Uden, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church

A prayer for Syria

Gracious God,
We weep with those in Syria,
crying out for those who have been killed,
for those who grieve loved ones,
for those who face the chaos and upheaval of losing homes and livelihoods,
for those who are injured, traumatised and violated,
for those whose futures have been stolen from them,
for those seeking power through violence.
Turn these cries of lament into calls for justice.
Convince our politicians, world leaders, and the international community to work together create a way of lasting peace.
Give strength and wisdom to religious and community leaders in the region who seek to build bridges across divided communities.
Challenge each of us to work for a world which enables freedom, respect and stability for all people.
In the name of Christ,
Amen.