Moscow, April 12, 2013
With the blessing of His Holiness
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all the Russias, the
Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society collected
humanitarian aid for Syria on March 31 through April
10, 2013. The initiative met with an immediate response
from Muscovites. Those suffering from the war in
faraway Syria were brought bandages, food, children's
food, stationery and gifts of money. Collection boxes
have been put up in monasteries at aid collection
sites. The humanitarian aid, collected in Russia, will
be sent to Syria and given to His Grace the Patriarch
of Antioch and all the East John X and also to the
Grand Mufti of Syria Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun.
|The emblem of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society
On November 28, 2012, his Holiness Patriarch Kirill of
Moscow and all Russia who is the headof the Honorable
Members' Committee of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine
Society, speaking at the meeting of the IOPS Council,
called for collection of humanitarian aid for Syrian
Christians. On March 21, 2013, a meeting between the
Patriarch and Metropolitan George of Holms, who had
arrived from Syria, took place, after which practical
realization of the project began.
In Syria, currently seized by war,
militants are systematically destroying Christianity.
On March 29, 2013, Bishop Luke of Seidnaya, a hierarch
of the Orthodox Church of Antioch, told the media about
the catastrophic situation of Syrian Christians. He
said to date, 138,000 Christians had been banished from
their homes. Christian Churches are systematically
destroyed and people are killed. "Damage, done to
our Churches, is great. They are burned, plundered,
their walls are broken. If a human life is of no value
for these criminals then will they spare our shrines?
Our parishioners are beaten up and attacked. All this
is obtaining "legal status" because the
uprising is happening and nobody is protesting against
it," notes the Hierarch. Thus, in the city of
Homs, extremists have committed mass murder of
Christians. Hundreds of people have been killed. A
Similar picture can be seen in other regions of Syria
Other media have reported that the humanitarian crisis in
Syria is indeed critical, with little help coming.
Aljazeera reports that G8 foreign ministers
meeting in London have said they are "appalled"
by the rising death toll of more than 70,000 in the Syrian
conflict and that there are now more than a million Syrian
refugees registered by the UNHCR in neighboring countries,
and more than two million internally displaced persons in
Syria. They have urged all countries to boost contribution
to a UN aid appeal for the country.
the UN News Centre reported on April 9 that the
UNHCR Regional Coordinator for Syrian Refugees Panos
Moumtzis has told a news briefing in Geneva: “We
feel we have reached a breaking point,”warning that
with aid agencies providing just the bare minimum the
shortfall was likely to expose the refugees, especially
women and children, to exploitation as they try to provide
for their families. UNICEF has also stated that funds are
running out to provide assistance to children in Jordanian
refugee camps with even the bare essentials, like water.
This would inevitably lead to a serious rise in deaths
from dysentery and other illnesses.
However, the G8 foreign ministers have made no mention of
supplying arms to the rebels as the opposition has
demanded, saying only that there should be greater
"humanitarian" assistance for those caught up in
a conflict that is now in its third year.
In a statement issued by the ministers on Thursday after
wrapping up two days of talks, they "expressed deep
concerns about the increasing human tragedy of the
conflict in Syria".
"They called on all countries to join with them in
maximizing their contributions to the latest UN appeals
and to provide them with direct support in order to help
them face this challenging situation."
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has admitted that
too little has been done to remedy the humanitarian crisis
because the UN is divided on how to address the conflict.