“Refrain from Military Action” in Syria

The LWF President and General Secretary visit Za’atri residents in 2012. Photo: LWF/Thomas Ekelund
The LWF President and General Secretary visit Za’atri residents in 2012. Photo: LWF/Thomas Ekelund

LWF Leadership Calls on International Community to Urgently Seek Peaceful Resolution

GENEVA, 2 September 2013 (LWI) - In a joint statement issued today, The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan and General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge have expressed great pain and deep concern over the continued brutality and horror of the conflict in Syria.

Younan and Junge are urging governments “to refrain from any military action as a means to address the complex matters at stake in Syria” and instead seek a political and diplomatic solution to the conflict. They reiterate the 2012 and 2013 LWF Council resolutions on Syria, which affirm “support for those who seek dialogue instead of further fighting, for the good of all people in Syria as well as its neighbors.”

The president and general secretary emphasize LWF’s call on the international community “to work together through the United Nations systems and instruments in order to support efforts for a durable process of resolving conflict without the use of violence.”

In a statement issued on 30 August in Jerusalem, Younan, who also serves as Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, stated that “the only ones who will benefit from Western military intervention in Syria will be extremists on all sides.” Younan said that “as an Arab Christian, I am concerned for the effects this violence will have on every community in Syria, whether they are Sunni, Shiite, Alawite, Druze, or Christian.”

In their joint statement, Younan and Junge condemn the use of chemical weapons in the strongest possible terms. They lament the difficulty of the international community to cope with the challenges posed by the developments in Syria and call for urgent “reform of the systems and instruments of the United Nations so that they indeed serve humankind as it strives to live together in justice, peace and dignity.”

The LWF is present in Jordan, where it is supporting Syrians who have sought refuge in the Za’atri refugee camp as well as in neighboring communities in the northern part of the country. The UN refugee agency estimates there are some 482,000 Syrian refugees registered in Jordan including nearly 130,000 residing in Za’atri.

Within Za’atri camp the LWF is offering psychosocial support and material assistance to refugees. In the host communities, the LWF trains Syrian and Jordanian women in income-generating activities, as well as youth leaders in conflict prevention, mitigation and peace building.

“Our direct involvement in the Za’atri refugee camp in Jordan—the second largest refugee camp in the world today—has brought our attention to the plight and the suffering of the civilian population,” Younan and Junge say in their joint statement.

The president and general secretary stress that “looking at the Syrian refugees and at the suffering civilian population in Syria, we are convinced that a reformed UN Security Council must work in particular for the security of those who are deprived of their rights and who bear the burden of conflict and violence.”

2 September 2013 | LWF Statement on the Situation in Syria


LWF Council 2013 | Resolution on Syria

LWF Council 2012 | Resolution on Syria

10 September 2012 | “Speaking Out for Syria: Statement to Global Political and Religious Leaders” | LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan

LWF Department for World Service Emergency Response in Jordan

LWF Department for World Service Middle East Regional Program

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Psychosocial Assistance in Za'atri Refugee Camp (scroll down)

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