Appeal for Continued Assistance to People Displaced by Conflict
GENEVA, 11 September 2012 (LWI) – Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan, president of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), is urging diligence by global political leaders in pursuing a Syrian-led process of dialogue to resolve the current civil conflict, as the influx of refugees into neighboring countries increases.
“It is regrettable that the Syrian conflict is being viewed almost exclusively through the lens of geopolitical concern when the human suffering is so great and so avoidable,” Younan said in a statement addressed to global political and religious leaders.
The LWF president, who is bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), expressed his deep concern for displaced persons “streaming into refugee camps or suffering at the border as countries prepare to welcome them in.”
His statement reiterated the LWF’s commitment in assisting Syrian refugees. A Memorandum of Understanding with the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO) signed in August includes support to the JHCO in providing shelter, psycho-social support, education services and camp management at the Za’atri refugee camp, inside the Jordanian border with Syria.
Younan urged the United Nations and its member states to spare no effort in delivering the appropriate aid to refugees and to those displaced within Syria. Efforts “must not waver” in finding a peaceful and just solution to the conflict.
He urged governments outside “to pursue a Syrian-led process of dialogue and peace-building as diligently as they have pursued military conflict and the preservation of their supposed geopolitical interests.” They should “avoid the temptation to manipulate sectarian divisions in pursuit of their interests,” he added.
The ELCJHL bishop expressed support for a September statement on Syria by the World Council of Churches’ Central Committee calling for an end to the violence, encouraging urgent humanitarian response and a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Younan urged prayers for the wisdom of all political leaders and for the people of Syria, a country that provided refuge for the early Church, and more recently a context for significant Christian-Muslim dialogue, all of which is threatened by the current conflict.