We lament the continuing violence in Syria and remember the Syrian people whose lives have been devastated by years of war.
Over five million Syrians have been forced to flee the conflict to date and even more have been displaced within Syria. More than 10,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United Kingdom where they have been welcomed and supported by many, including our own Methodist churches and other faith communities.
Syrian people have always been our neighbours, but now they are part of our Churches, our communities and our nation. As a result we are more aware than ever of the devastating impact that war has on families and individuals.
We continue to remember those killed or injured in Douma and their families in our prayers. The use of chemical weapons is deplorable, and it is essential that those responsible are identified and held accountable for their crimes. There is a role for the whole international community to play in bringing justice to this situation.
However, air strikes on Syria risk further destabilising the situation in the country and escalating the conflict.
We pray that in this situation national leaders will demonstrate qualities of understanding, perception, creativity and commitment. We ask that any immediate response recognises that ultimately the conflict can only be brought to an end through negotiation with all parties.
The Revd Loraine N Mellor, President of the Methodist Conference, and Jill Baker, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference
A prayer for Syria
Who cares for every created being, having even numbered the hairs on our heads,
We pray now for each person in Syria.
In these dark days, may decisions be made that honour the sanctity of life created by you;
May wise and far-sighted counsel prevail that seeks the well-being of all humanity.
Prince of Peace,
We open our hearts to you and confess our willingness to seek easy responses that require others to pay a hard price;
We open our reason to you and pledge our commitment to hear your words of compassion and peace.
Lover of Concord,
let your love shine through those who bring aid and solace in the land of Syria,
Those who choose between violence and peace,
Those who influence opinions in words and tweets.
Hear our cry and help us work together to seek peace and pursue it.
Notes: The Methodist Church made a statement on intervention in Syria in December 2015, the 4-page statement can be found here.