Volume 16, No. 4
Fall 2013
Praying For Peace In Troubled Lands
Displaced Syrian families gather in front of an Orthodox Church in the Syrian border town of Daraa seeking humanitarian aid after fleeing fighting in their hometowns. IOCC supports one of the largest established networks to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid inside Syria where more than 7 million people are currently in need of assistance. (Photo credit: IOCC/GOPA)
It is with a heavy heart that we have listened to the news coming from both Egypt and Syria in recent times. Most recently, we have been saddened by the news of the attack on the ancient Christian city of Maaloula, Syria by the rebel forces and the desecration of holy places. This city houses one of the oldest and most important monasteries, the Convent of St. Thekla, which is considered a holy place by both Christians and Muslims alike. It is one of the few remaining places in the world where Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, is still spoken. For many years, the Christians and Muslims in Syria have lived side by side as neighbors and friends, and have respected the rights of each other to worship freely. This has all changed since the conflict began, which not only has resulted in the death of approximately 100,000 Syrians, but the displacement of more than two million. The toll on humanity has been unspeakable, and we pray every day for peace to somehow come to those troubled lands.

As Christians, we make no distinction as to religious belief when it comes to respecting human life and protecting it. These are all the children of God, and we ask that your prayers be extended to all of them in this time of great turmoil and danger. We ask the Lord to bless the work of IOCC which brings comfort to these suffering people through the good work that it does.

May our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, the Light of our lives, and our refuge and salvation, have mercy on us.

+Metropolitan Philip
Archbishop of New York and
Metropolitan of All North America

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In This Issue

Quenching The Thirst For Clean Water In Cameroon

From The Executive Director

Fresh Hope For Greece's Families

The Future Threatened for Syria's Schoolchildren

A Place To Call Home Again

Praying For Peace In Troubled Lands

Parish Reps Make A Difference!

IOCC Sunday: A Day Of Sharing!

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