In Syria, it has been almost eight years since the beginning of a war, where no one has won.
Its victims are these children. Many of them do not remember what living in peace is like. The international Catholic charity, “Aid to the Church in Need” is launching its Christmas campaign. It’s not only in response to the dramatic humanitarian situation caused by the war, but also in support of the Christian presence in the Middle East, so it doesn’t disappear.
Because of this, thousands of these children have written messages and lit candles, praying for peace in their country.
“We don’t need a war, we need peace”.
“I drew something meaning peace. I want to be safe. I’ve drawn a cheerful peace.”
“I want peace for the whole world. I want everyone to be honest each other, and for peace here and in all countries.”
“I think about children in other countries. I want peace for all the world.”
“I want to tell all the children in the world: I hope you have peace and God blesses you and keeps you together.”
In these days, all across Syria, thousands of candles are being lit as an echo of their cry for an end to war.
FR. LUKAS AWAD
St. Mart Syrian Orthodox Church, Homs (Syria)
“The children are especially in need of peace, to live in peace and to feel peace. This is because they lost a lot of this peace to go out of their houses and to play out of their houses; and to come to the Church because there are a lot of voices and bombs surrounding them. We did this because the people and the children especially are in need for peace in Syria.”
MSGR. JEAN-ABDO ARBACH
Archbishop of Homs (Syria)
“The big issue we have now, our main priority, is children. We have to work with them in faith, in their state of mind, so they can stay in Syria. Our children’s schools are the core of Christianity.”
Now “Aid to the Church in Need” will carry these same candles to many countries around the world, to transmit the light of hope during Advent and Christmas.
The campaign “Candles for peace in Syria” wants to remind the world of the tragic situation the Christians in Syria are facing. Before the war, they were 10 percent of the population, now they are only three or four percent. Thus, to show the world’s solidarity with them and that they are not alone, this year millions of candles will be lit all over the world.