UK Churches call on Government to take urgent action over Turkish assault on Syria

Turkey and the US have agreed a five-day ceasefire(Photo: Reuters)

The leaders of the Methodist Church, United Reformed Church (URC) and European Baptist Federation have called on the Government to take urgent action to stop the conflict in north-eastern Syria from escalating. 

In a joint statement, they said they were "extremely concerned" about the impact of Turkey's assault in the region on civilians. 

"The diverse people of the region were just beginning to see some respite from the turmoil and destruction that has overtaken them during the past 8 years of war," the statement reads.

"The region urgently needs a political settlement that guarantees a place for every citizen. The people of north-eastern Syria, both Muslim and Christian, need and desperately long for freedom and stability in order to live side by side in peace.

"We appeal to the UK Government to take urgent and decisive political action to ensure that a further escalation of conflict is averted. We appeal for all parties to work for a sustainable peace based on agreements that guarantee respect for human rights and a complete rejection of violence." 

The letter was signed by Derek Estill and Rev Nigel Uden, joint Moderators of the General Assembly of the URC, Rev Dr Barbara Glasson, Methodist Church President, Professor Clive Marsh, Methodist Church Vice-President, and Rev Tony Peck, General Secretary of the European Baptist Federation. 

The Church leaders also issued a prayer to be used in conjunction with the situation in Syria. 

Gracious God,

We weep with those in Syria,
crying out for those who have been killed,
for those who grieve loved ones,
for those who face the chaos and upheaval of losing homes and livelihoods,
for those who are injured, traumatised and violated,
for those whose futures have been stolen from them,
for those seeking power through violence.

Turn these cries of lament into calls for justice.
Convict our politicians, world leaders, and the international community to work together create a way of lasting peace.
Give strength and wisdom to religious and community leaders in the region who seek to build bridges across divided communities.
Challenge each of us to work for a world which enables freedom, respect and stability for all people.

In the name of Christ,

Amen


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