This Christmas Pray for Syria

The violence throughout Syria has thus far killed more than 40,000 people and sent more than 525,000 refugees fleeing to bordering countries.

Now reports are coming out of BBC and other outlets from a town called Halfaya that Syria's government headed by Bashar al Assad initiated airstrikes in the vicinity of a bakery that killed an estimated 200 non-combatants lined up for bread.  The fighting has made provisions hard to come by as both the refugees and those remaining in the country face the winter.

Meanwhile, the second UN Envoy to Syria & representative of the Arab League, Lakhdar Brahimi is en route to a meeting with Assad over a possible cease-fire.  Similar efforts have failed in the past, but Brahimi has had more success than others and he is negotiating from a stronger position with the Assad regime losing ground and resources by the day.

There remains concern not only for the success of Brahimi's mission but also for his safety as fighting around the airport has dictated that he make the trip by land.

Finally, a Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Damascus, Youhanna Yazigi, is renewing calls for an end to the fighting, and for Christians and Syrians of all faiths to remain firm and resist the violence:

"We Christians are here in the country and we will stay here...What is happening to us is happening to others too. We are in the same situation as everyone else, Muslims and Christians, shoulder to shoulder, facing the difficulties."

I'm joining them in prayers that this civil war finally come to a swift, and legitimate end.


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