The crisis in Syria dates back to the early days of 2011, when peaceful protesters expressed their hopes for political and economic reforms, in the spirit of the so-called Arab Spring that was sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. The situation became violent only a couple of months later, in March. Since then, more than a quarter million Syrians have been killed, half of the Syrian population has been forced from their homes—either displaced internally or as refugees in neighboring countries, and now Europe and beyond—and hopes for a resolution of the conflict remain dim.
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ have been involved in response to the crisis for the past roughly five years, and continue to do so. Such response has been prayers and education, advocacy for an end to violence and a responsible US role, and support for the work of partners in the Middle East who continue to provide humanitarian aid to those in need.
Through the Middle East Initiative, Global Ministries offers monthly webinars to offer perspectives by our partners in the region about their work and context. The two webinars here are our August and September presentations on Syria, offered by Dr. Mary Mikhael, Syria Response staff person of the National Evangelical Synod [Presbyterian] of Syria and Lebanon and former Global Ministries Board of Directors member, and the Rev. Dr. Riad Jarjour, President of the Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue. Both partners are involved in Syria in a variety of ways, including humanitarian response for the needs of displaced and refugees. Both Dr. Mikhael and Rev. Jarjour are from Syria.
The Journey from Syria, a six-part documentary about the dangerous paths of Syrian asylum seekers in the E.U., directed by the filmmaker Matthew Cassel in collaboration with Field of Vision (originally posted by The New Yorker)
Unheard Voices: What Syrian Refugees Need to Return Home, by Maha Yahya, a Carnegie Middle East Center study based on interviews with Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon
First Federated Church group visits with Syrian refugees in Toledo - Watch the below video of their visit!
Finding Refuge - 60 Minutes segment from Oct 16, 2016 on Syrian refugees and the US resettlement process
Advocacy with the US Government
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