Pope urges world leaders: “If you want to help Syrians, stop funding the war.”
Pope Francis has sent a video message to world leaders as a new campaign to promote peace in Syria is launched. “While the people suffer, incredible quantities of money are being spent to supply weapons to fighters,” said Francis. He observed that some of the countries supplying the weapons “are also among those that talk of peace. How can you believe in someone who caresses you with the right hand and strikes you with the left hand?”
Pope Francis said the“unspeakable suffering” of the conflict in Syria was a situation that “saddens my heart a lot.” He described the Syrian people “as victims who were “forced to survive under bombs or to find escape routes to other countries or areas of Syria that are less war-torn: to leave their own home, everything.” Francis also gave his full support to the Christian communities in the region and highlighted the “discrimination they have to bear.”
The Pope invited Christians everywhere to pray for peace in Syria and for its citizens at prayer vigils, awareness-raising initiatives, in parishes and in communities, so that the message of peace, unity and hope is spread. “Works of peace then follow prayer,” he said. The Pope urged those involved in peace negotiations “to take these agreements seriously and to make every effort to facilitate access to humanitarian aid” adding that everyone must recognize that “there is no military solution for Syria, but only a political solution.” He stressed that the international community “must therefore support the peace talks heading towards the construction of a government of national unity.”
Pope Francis encouraged people of all ages throughout the world to use the Holy Year of Mercy as an occasion to “overcome indifference and proclaim with strength that peace in Syria is possible! Peace in Syria is possible!” He encouraged people at all levels of society to join forces and ensure that “peace in Syria is possible.” That, he said, “will be a great example of mercy and love lived for the good of all the international community!”
The Syrian civil war has claimed the lives of more than 270,000 people in the past five years. There are more than 4.6 million Syrian refugees in nearby countries, and an additional 8 million Syrians have been internally displaced by the war. Assisting the victims of war in Syria is among the largest humanitarian aid projects undertaken by ACN. We provide food, housing, education, healthcare and psychological help to refugees and people in besieged or heavily bombed towns.