Prayer for the Middle East
God, Our Father,
have mercy on the Middle East.
Your faithful servants –
young and old alike –
are called to witness to Christ.
May they be strengthened
during this time of turmoil
as they seek to follow
your beloved Son,
who Himself walked
their ancient homelands.
In union with Benedict, our Pope,
we pray that Christians
in the Middle East
may be enabled to live
their Faith in full freedom.
Embolden them to act as instruments
of peace and reconciliation,
united with all the citizens
of their countries.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord,
Syria: An urgent appeal
A blood-stained cross is held aloft during a protest against the situation in Syria
Young people climb on a tank in a street in Syria
A woman weeps during Mass in the Middle East
A tank stands outside a church in Syria
Worshippers fill a church for mass in more peaceful times in Syria
Altar servers at Mass in Homs, before nearly all Christians fled the city amid fighting
Ephremite Sisters in Harissa, Lebanon. Mother Marie-Barnard Haddad is pictured right
Fr Elias Aghia greeting and blessing family, St Paul's Melkite Cathedral, Harissa, Lebanon
Procession of the cross, Mossul, Iraq
Iraqi children stay joyful despite their country's troubles
St Paul's Melkite Seminary chapel, Harissa, Lebanon
Druze and Maronite children at a Maronite school, Beit Eddine, Chouf, Lebanon
Aid to the Church in Need is appealing for prayers and support for Christians in Syria – and throughout the troubled Middle East.
More than 120,000 faithful – almost the entire Christian population of the city – have now fled the city of Homs, fearful that they will be targeted. Read more
And last month some 30,000 refugees have crossed the border into neighbouring Lebanon in barely 48 hours, fleeing from the escalated fighting which has struck parts of the country including Aleppo in the northwest. and the capital, Damascus.
Neville Kyrke-Smith's urgent message about Syria and the Middle East
Reports are coming through of more families fleeing the conflict in Syria – with over 30,000 refugees crossing into Lebanon in less than 48 hours. This urgent message is to ask for your prayers and support for those in such dire need at this time.
Aid to the Church in Need has already provided Caritas Syria and the Christians in and around the city of Homs with more than £100,000 of aid in recent weeks. Now we are turning to you, the dear friends of the charity, trusting that you will help us offer further emergency assistance.
I have met refugees in the Middle East and just last month I returned from a fact-finding trip to Lebanon. There I heard from priests and Sisters about the suffering and fear just over the border in Syria. Some told me how their communities were coping with a huge influx of people fleeing terror and bombardment.
“Where could they hide? Where could they go? ...Please pray. In the most difficult situation we can only pray. And please help the Christians to remain.” These were the powerful words of Fr Elias Aghia as he described to me what happened in Homs, when more than 50,000 Christians fled.
Yet, the resolute faith of the Christians in the Middle East – in our Biblical homeland – is inspiring. Please offer them hope. Please – if you can – join us in this special campaign as together we try to sustain the faith of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Thank you so much for offering hope!
Thanks to you, we have now made further aid payments to bishops in Syria to help their communities.
|Medical aid at St Louis Catholic Hospital in Aleppo for patients injured after being caught up in the fighting.|
|Emergency supplies of food, medicine and baby milk for 12,000 people stranded in a village near the Lebanese border. Read more|
|A three month supply of food for families in Aleppo.|
|Vital medical supplies for families in the city of Aleppo – enough to last three months.|
|Essential food for displaced families in Damascus; Mass stipends for 12 priests ministering to the faithul in the city.|
|Emergency aid for families trapped in the old city of Homs.|
|Food and shelter for more than 1,500 families who were forced to flee fighting in Homs, taking shelter in the surrounding towns and villages. Read more|
|Pastoral projects in support of the Church's mission.|
Please help us continue to reach out in prayer, compassion and solidarity to suffering Christians in Syria and the Middle East.
"Thank you... We do not know what awaits us"
The help you have given us is very much appreciated as it is at the service of all Christian communities, as well as having a significant ecumenical aspect in the present situation of sectarian violence in Syria.
Many thanks to Aid to the Church in Need, which helps the Christians of Syria stand upright; to know that they are not alone, that they are surrounded by their brothers and sisters who understand them and who love them in such an active and selfless way!
We thank you for your prompt response, especially in Aleppo where the conflict is brutal and we do not know what awaits us. Pray that we remain in the peace that comes from Christ and helps us to incarnate Him through deeds and acts of charity.
+ Antoine Audo