With the situation in Syria deteriorating and the U.S. government threatening punitive missile strikes in retaliation for Syrian government use of chemical weapons against civilians, Presbyterian World Mission has scheduled a webinar updating the situation in the country.

Then webinar will be Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 1:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time. To register, go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7596716404663337984.

The webinar will feature presentations by global partners and colleagues from Syria and comments by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons. Hunter Farrell, director of World Mission, will moderate.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is responding to the rising violence that has affected nearly 7 million people. More than 1.7 million Syrian refugees have fled to five neighboring countries: Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.  

The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, for instance, has become the second largest refugee camp in the world (behind the Dadaab camp in Kenya) and has become Jordan’s fourth largest city. More than 60% of the camp’s population are children, and many of the households are headed by women.  Recent numbers estimate that almost half of the total number of refugees — a staggering 1 million — are children.

PDA is working through its partners in the region, the National Evangelical (Presbyterian) Synod of Syria and Lebanon and the Geneva-based ACT Alliance, to provide food, hygiene kits, bedding, support to health workers, provision of psychosocial counselors, and support for students to continue their education.

More than 26,100 “Gift of the Heart” school kits have been sent to provide some of the basic supplies needed for children in refugee camps. Learn how to make the kits.

Parsons joined with more than 20 ecumenical colleagues in calling on the United States government to keep its attention on the Syrian Civil War and act accordingly to bring stability and peace to the region. On Aug. 30 he issued a statement in the wake of the escalating violence in Syria.

The PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness has issued an Action Alert on Syria to oppose military action. Visit their blog to learn how you can advocate for this action.

PC(USA) leaders are also asking all Presbyterians to pray for the situation in Syria: For all those whose lives have been and continue to be affected,

  • For those who have lost friends and family during this crisis,
  • For those who are displaced,
  • For those working to deliver humanitarian assistance,
  • For an end to violence and the beginning of negotiations for a solution that meets the democratic aspiration of the Syrian people,
  • That access will be open for humanitarian assistance to get through to those in need.

To contribute to PDA’s Syria relief efforts, designate gifts to DR000081 – Middle East. Write “Syria” on the reference line if mailing a check.