National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon Easter message
Written by Dr. Mary Mikhael*
Today is Easter Day! Jesus is risen! He is Risen Indeed!
Yes all the church traditions that follow the Eastern Calendar celebrate Easter today. May the Risen Lord bring the Resurrection Reality to the whole world.
As the churches were getting ready to shout, JESUS IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! Shells of death and destruction were falling on a magnificent and historical and modern city – Aleppo!
Yes as many in Aleppo were in a state shock and grief were saying, ” this is the gift of the feast for us ALLAS! Armenian persons were pointing to their destroyed center and homes, indicating that Turkey through its support of the fighting rebels wanting to tell Armenians, “do not forget during your commemorating your 100 anniversary that we are still here!”
Indeed for over two years, we have been gripped by fear of the danger that was surrounding the city we love dearly- Aleppo- praying for God’s protection and mercy to take the tragedy far from hitting the many people who refused to leave Aleppo behind to settle somewhere else. It was early after the beginning of the Syrian tragic events that many of the Aleppo factories that produced the variety of the country’s needs where dismantled and moved outside and many were hit. Aleppo has been the power house, and the economic capital of Syria, is now paralyzed.
No one has the heart to look at the last week’s destruction caused by the heavy and countless rockets falling on so many residential quarters, and streets, killing so many innocents whose sin is only that they stayed in their homes. Yet despite all we continue to shout, Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed!, among the many of those who lost their lives and homes, as we have been informed by our Presbyterian pastor in Aleppo there were 25 Christians that he helped pulling out from under the wreckage, and are most probably more to be found. Another said, we have been preoccupied by the tragedy of Edleb, where 700,000 have run away, comes the Aleppo tragedy to dazzle us.
We do not know if our cries can be heard by those in whose hands the power to help stop this tragedy being revived I every city of a country that was living in peace and security. Indeed it seems that all the outside powers involved each wanting to achieve its goals and the Syrian people have to pay of their lives and property.
Indeed, as never before schools, churches, residential areas especially those known as Christian residential areas, have been heavily hit. All know that this is meant to be and not by accident. One has asked, is the plan to uproot the Christians from Syria, and also to destroy a culture of a country that has survived thousands of years?
Why this madness against Aleppo, we ask. As never before now Aleppo receives shells that hit five story buildings and destroy it, where does it come from? You can guess, and the people of Aleppo seem to know that the north is sending them a message.
“We have been distributing food and medicine and other daily needs”, said a church man, but now we also need to construct shelters.
Indeed while the Resurrection is a reality, the Aleppo people shouted in silence, while the noise of killing shells roared over.
Our dear friends and partners in the faith of the Resurrection please continue praying earnestly to God for mercy and compassion, and for an end to this
Human tragedy to end. Please advocate for peace for all the Syrian suffering and struggling.
We believe God want peace, and life for all. In God we Trust.
*Dr. Mikhael is a staffperson for the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, the immediate past president of the Near East School of Theology, and a former member of the Common Global Ministries Board of Directors.
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.