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Prayer Vigil at the Cathedral #WithSyria

About a hundred people gathered at sunset at Coventry Cathedral for a prayer vigil on Thursday 13 January. The prayer vigil, led by the Bishops of Coventry and Warwick, was part of a global initiative which is drawing attention to the on-going humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Syria is the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.  Every day children, women and men in Syria are living through unspeakable horror.  Nearly half the population has been forced to flee their homes in fear. Over 100,000 people have been killed.

15th March 2014 marks the third anniversary of the Syria crisis, three years of failure by the world to end the appalling suffering.

The Bishop of Coventry and Councillor Ram Lakha

People of different faiths, including some Syrians, gathered on the steps of the old cathedral ruins to pray and to light candles.  The Cathedral is known throughout the world for its ministry of reconciliation, and Bishop Christopher led a House of Lords debate in November on the humanitarian consequences of the conflict in Syria.

Earlier in the week, Bishop Christopher had issued the following statement in support of the #WithSyria campaign:

"The scenes of destruction and suffering from Syria point to an apocalyptic disaster and yet the massacre in Syria continues unchecked.

How many more harrowing scenes of exhausted families crossing the borders from Syria must we bear witness to before world leaders take the necessary steps to resolve this conflict?

For how long must we hear the heartbreaking stories of hungry, crying children from besieged cities in Syria before we secure unfettered humanitarian access to those most in need?

We can remain silent no more. The world can ill-afford another anniversary for Syria marked by bloodshed. This week the Church stands with others in shining a light in solidarity with the people of Syria and as a demonstration to our own government, and others, that they must intensify their efforts to end the bloodshed and to get aid to all those in need."

Left to Right: Bishop Christopher, Amy Taylor, Sr Philomena, Cllr Ram Lakha, Gillian Anderson, Ann Farr, Ron Darwen SJ, Paul McGowan.