By Open Doors
Open Doors this week endorsed a call for prayer – released by the World Council of Churches – for the Geneva II conference that started on Wednesday, January 22, in Switzerland.
The World Council released an ‘urgent call to action for a just peace in Syria’ this past weekend. Church leaders and representatives from Syria, the Middle East Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches and the Holy See gathered last week in Geneva for a consultation to address the coming Geneva II peace conference on Syria.
Open Doors supports the Syrian Church in different ways. In 2012 the organisation started with distributing relief packages through partnering churches in the country. The relief work grew to a huge effort supporting more than 8 000 families monthly.
Open Doors also strengthens the Syrian Church through leadership- and trauma training. The Save Syria campaign that Open Doors initiated in 2013 focused strongly on advocacy on behalf of the future of the Syrian Church. Worldwide more than 300 000 people signed the petition to plead for justice on behalf of the Christian minority in that country. The petition was handed over to delegations of the US, UK, China, France and Russia, the permanent members of the UN, in New York this past December. The petition was also handed over to delegations of the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition. In several countries the petition was presented to governments and at embassies.
According to Gerrit Coetzee, CEO of Open Doors South Africa, a successful Geneva II conference is of great importance for the future of Syria. Open Doors is thus inviting churches and individual Christians to stand together with their Syrian brothers and sisters in prayer for this conference.
• The conference will lead to an end to the crisis in Syria;
• All delegates will prioritise the needs of the Syrian people, and not their own agendas;
• All who are bereaved will know the comfort of Jesus, and the wounded and traumatised His healing and presence;
• The needs of the millions of Syrians displaced, either internally or abroad, will be adequately met;
• Those detained or kidnapped will be released;
• Those that seek to use violent means would know the Spirit’s conviction of sin, and respond to the Father’s offer of new life through the work of the Son.
According to various media reports, observers’ expectations of the conference are low because the opposing parties aims are too far apart.