REMINDER: Call for prayers for Syria
Innocent men, women and children are still paying the ultimate price in the continuing conflict raging in Syria, especially in Aleppo, where they are caught in the crossfire between rebel and government forces.
Pope Francis is urging governments to find a political solution to the war in Syria as part of the Caritas Internationalis ‘Syria: Peace is Possible’ campaign.
Caritas Internationalis calls on all Caritas Member Organisations, national Bishops' Conferences, Dioceses, Parishes and local Caritas offices to pray in communion with the Pope for peace in the Middle East and especially for all the people of Syria as they keep enduring a devastating civil war that shows no sign of ending.
This important event will be organised on the occasion of the Pope's participation in the ecumenical commemoration of the 500 anniversary of the Reformation due to be held on 31 October 2016 in Sweden.
The idea behind this event, co-organised by the Roman Catholic Church (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity), Caritas Internationalis and the Lutheran World Federation/World Service, is to really shift relations from conflict to communion with a focus on young people and the hope brought about through this commemoration.
Pope Francis, alongside Bishop Munib Younan, President of the Lutheran World Federation, and the Rev Martin Junge, the Federation's General Secretary, will lead a common prayer service based on the recently published Catholic-Lutheran "Common Prayer" liturgical guide.
The guide is based on From Conflict to Communion, a joint document that highlights the ecumenical developments between the two Churches.
According to the Pope's travel itinerary, a small delegation of Caritas Internationalis will be praying in the afternoon of Monday, 31 October in Malmö, Sweden. On that occasion, we shall use the prayer, which has been designed to be said on that day. You can find the prayer here in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.
All are encouraged to join in prayer at this time from whichever part of the world they are in, and in particular those who are part of the Caritas confederation, including:
- Staff and volunteers of Caritas organisations
- National Bishops' Conferences
- People affected by war and forced displacement
- People in your school, parish or local community group
- People of faith
- All people of good will who are sensitive to war, peace and reconciliation matters
We also encourage you to invite local leaders, policy makers and media to pray with you and help spread the Syria peace campaign’s messages. We invite you to gather at a time that most suits your needs and hold your prayer event at a location that is convenient for your audience, such as your local parish, school, office or community centre.
If you'd like to read our latest article on this issue, please click here.
Sharing your prayer event on social media
Before the event
Tell everyone about the prayer on your social networks (blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), and invite them to join in. Using images will help make your posts more eye-catching. You can download the campaign prayer from our campaign website.
Don’t forget you can also invite individual people and groups personally on social media. You could invite your friends, other parishes or schools, local community groups, local leaders, media, policy makers, etc. You can do this by setting up an ‘Event’ on Facebook and inviting people to join, or mentioning people specifically in your invitations using their
Some suggested messages you can use include:
- We’re holding a prayer event on 31 Oct to pray for lasting peace in Syria, with #PeacePossible4Syria. Join us [include link to more info]
- We’re holding a prayer event for an immediate end to the violence and suffering in Syria #PeacePossible4Syria. Come along [include link to more info]
- Pray with the Pope for peace in Syria with #PeacePossible4Syria campaign @iamCaritas – join us in solidarity on 31 Oct [include link to more info]
During and after the event
Take photos and videos at the prayer event and share them on your social networks. Please don’t forget to use the hashtags #PeacePossible4Syria and share them with us @iamCaritas.
You can also join this event, streamed to you live over the internet, on 31st October. The webstreaming will offer a window into this unique gathering, involving speakers such as Msgr Héctor Fabio Henao (Caritas Colombia), Marguerite Barankitse (Maison Shalom, Burundi) and Bishop Antoine Audo (Caritas Syria), addressing some of the biggest questions of our era around unity and peace.
If you're interested in joining this event from whichever part of the world you are in, please don't hesitate to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, we would love to hear about your prayer event plans – let us know via email at email@example.com.
A wonderful campaign website with fantastic media resources has been crafted for you to use and disseminate to your constituency and stakeholders.
Please feel free to explore the web resources available to all Caritas organisations as well as to all interested campaigners and peace advocates willing to campaign for peace in Syria in their respective countries.
Please also remember to let us know how it goes at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your experience on our Twitter or Facebook channels by searching for @iamCaritas and using #PeacePossible4Syria.
The Campaign Team Caritas Internationalis