Syria

Syria: Evolving Perceptions of a Tenacious Conflict

In May of 2017, I was privileged to join a group of travelers who spent ten days in Syria and Lebanon. Eleven of us traveled from the United States on a trip organized by the Syria/Lebanon Partnership Network of the PC(USA). Entitled “Mutually Encouraged by Each Other’s Faith,” the goal of the trip was “to share worship, fellowship and a mutual time of learning with PC(USA) partners in Syria and Lebanon.”

Alongside those objectives set by the organizers of the trip, my own goal arose from my belief that the conflict in Syria is one of the greatest humanitarian crises in my lifetime. I continue to wrestle with the ways in which a person like myself, committed to non-violence, can find a path through that violence-filled conflict.

This blog post reports on what I learned and my thoughts on the way forward for this painful and protracted conflict.

PPF Statement on Syria

We place our faith, hope, and trust in God alone. We renounce violence as a means to further selfish national interests, to procure wealth, or to dominate others. We will practice boldly the things that make for peace and look for the day when ‘they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.’

Hymn for Refugees: "A New Father, Awestruck"

A new father, awe-struck; a mother so mild;
A stable; a manger; a dear, newborn child—
God, as we imagine that family so blessed,
We sometimes forget they were poor and oppressed.

Confronting the Crisis in Syria: A Peace-Seeker's Perspective

For those who are concerned about the increasing militarization of American foreign policy, Syria may be the central place where that is playing out today.