NESSL consultation issues statement on Syria

NESSL consultation issues statement on Syria


The National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL) has been deeply concerned about the continuing tragedy in Syria, now for three years. This tragedy has caused the death of thousands, displaced millions, and made millions become refugees.

In response to this tragedy NESSL involved itself in the relief work reaching out to thousands of people affected by this tragic situation. The Synod has tried to provide for many displaced inside Syria all what is possible to ease their suffering and create hope and light to the broken-hearted. NESSL also is working hard in reaching out to Syrian refugees in Lebanon through cooperation with other church and International agencies.

In fact, the flood of refugees coming daily to Lebanon has created a critical situation for Lebanon; the state is economically unable to meet all their needs (Medical, Social, ….) ; and the Lebanese political situation is very fragile and complicated.

NESSL would like to express deep gratitude to all its partners in the USA and Europe who continue praying for God’s mercy to end the Syrian tragedy, and advocate in all possible ways through international powers to stop the violence and continue supporting the church financially, and advocate for peace and reconciliation.

Great appreciation for the statement of support from The Free Churches of England shared by the Rev. Timothy Clark. NESSL is also deeply grateful to all partners who responded to its invitation for a time of reflection and consultation during the week of January 13-17, 2014 to find ways to make relief-work more effective and sustained for the future so that together we will be able to provide hope in what seems to be a hopeless situation for many.

The following is a joint statement by the NESSL and the partners who were present:

We condemn all forms of violence done by any side or group. We call for:

  • An immediate cease-fire
  • The end of all military intervention from outside
  • The prevention of all armed groups coming from any side, many of whom fight in the name of God.
  • A political solution and dialogue among the Syrians to help them plan a new future where peace and justice prevail
  • Support of all peace negotiations that seek to end all acts of violence and promote reconciliation.

We present the following points as the priority areas where work will continue with the help of God:

  1. Advocacy
  2. Relief & Humanitarian
  3. Pastoral & Spiritual care
  4. Rehabilitation

1. Advocacy

  • The church should make clear witness against all kind of violence, and promoting human rights and justice for all
  • NESSL is in need of partners to encourage their financial support to carry out relief activities
  • NESSL urges the partners to do whatever possible with official and leaders in their countries to work for peace and reconciliation and end of the tragic Syrian Crisis.

2. Relief & Humanitarian:

  • Relief: Provide assistance to needy people regardless of religion and background
  • Psycho-social and spiritual counseling
  • Coordination with other NGOs
  • Develop a unified system in all of the churches on how to carry out relief work
  • Address the educational needs of Syrian displaced students in Lebanon and encourage their placement in Lebanese schools, wherever possible.

3. Pastoral, Spiritual & Ecclesial care

  • The NESSL should continue to be a church and not only a humanitarian organization
  • Continue teaching and preaching to convey hope
  • Find ways to deal with young people, their future and education
  • In the midst of the crisis encourage people to stay in their churches and countries.
  • The NESSL must support pastors, especially those in the war areas.
  • Establish support for Christians who have been forced to move to new areas inside and outside of Syria.
  • Support NESSL leaders and elders to help bring healing & hope to refugees and displaced

4. Rehabilitation & Rebuilding

  • Help restore families’ lives, and enhance the culture of peace and reconciliation in society
  • Initiate projects for development
  • Cooperate in rebuilding destroyed or damaged houses, schools & churches
  • Find ways to provide post-traumatic care.

Beirut, Lebanon; January 16, 2014

The National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon

Partner Churches and Organizations present:

  • Presbyterian Church USA
  • Outreach Foundation , USA
  • Action Chretienne pour l’ Orient (France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Lebanon, Syria and Iran)
  • Uniting Church in Sweden
  • Presbyterian Church in Ireland
  • Free Churches of England

[Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ also supports the work of the NESSL, and has contributed to its relief work during the Syrian crisis, but was not present at this consultation.]

The United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) continue to offer support for the work of many partners in the region to provide humanitarian response to the needs of Syrian refugees.  Please consider supporting the work of Global Ministries’ partners’ relief efforts in and around Syria.  You can do that through One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC), the Week of Compassion (Disciples), or through Global Ministries directly.