ACN supports the prayer appeal of Patriarch Gregorios III – the charity has given 6.3 million Euros in emergency aid since the war began

ACN, Königstein – 5.3.2015. Patriarch Gregorios III. Of Antioch, the head of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church, which is in communion with Rome, has called for a day of solidarity with Syria on March 15 this year. This was the day, four years ago, when the protests began in the city of Deraa against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The international Catholic pastoral charityAid to the Church in Need (ACN) which in an unprecedented aid campaign has given 6.3 million Euros in aid since the beginning of the  war, is supporting this prayer initiative by the patriarch.

Four years on from the beginning of the war, the situation of millions of people in Syria is catastrophic, said the executive president of ACN, Baron Johannes Heereman.

With the spread of the conflict into the neighbouring countries, the situation has become still more desperate, he added, the more so since the interest on the part of the international  community has clearly dwindled. That is why we are providing emergency aid for families in Aleppo, Homs, Damascus and other affected areas. We are helping to supply basic food stuffs, medicines, primary medical care, financial help with rent for lodgings, heating and electricity. But money can only help to ease the suffering, not end the war.

ACN is therefore calling for the invitation of Pope Francis to a 24-hour period of adoration and prayer for peace from 13-14 March to be extended by a day, and thus also to pray together on March 15 with the Christians of Syria and the Middle East for an end to the war and the suffering.

In his appeal Patriarch Gregorios III goes on to say: Lent is a Way of the Cross, and we are now in the fifth year of this Way of the Cross for the Arab nations. We are today experiencing the greatest tragedy since the Second World War. We are lost in the face of the immense pain that our people are enduring, in all its Christian and Muslim communities. Absolutely everybody is suffering from poverty, hunger, cold, lack of clothing, sickness and physical handicap. In suffering all of us are equal.

The appeal for a World Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Syria continues: In deepest suffering and pain in Syria, and together with our suffering people, who are walking a bloody Way of the Cross, we appeal to the whole world: Enough! Enough! Enough of the war in Syria! We believe in the power of prayer and fasting and we are calling for a day of solidarity with Syria, a day of fasting and prayer for hope and peace in Syria.