Friday, February 09, 2018
A War Still Raging
Have you been paying attention to the civil war in Syria? Are you under the impression that the fighting may be on the wane, or that is effectively over? The truth is that there is still intense conflict which results in the deaths of innocent people.
While the direct conflict with ISIS/Daesh/ISIL is all but over, fighters have returned to their insurgent roots, hiding out in the desert. They continue to attack Syrian government forces and they may become more organized in their terrorist attacks. The US and others have cut support to the patchwork of rebel groups and the Assad government has all but defeated them in most areas but there are still pockets of strong resistance. Hospitals are still being bombed and in a suburb of Damascus, the capital, 60 or more people died on Tuesday of this week. This is a complex situation which will not lead to stability any time soon.
This means that the roughly five million Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Turkey and Jordan will continue to live in crowded camps without any semblance of a normal life.
Canadians were remarkably generous in bringing Syrians to this country beginning in 2015. Many of the sponsor groups were faith-based organizations including Christian churches. Here in the Quinte region many families were welcomed into our midst and the coalition of congregations and other faith groups I was involved in brought more than twenty members of the same family to begin a new life here. We discovered though that the children hadn't been educated and they had physical and psychological challenges which we might have anticipated given their flight from danger and life in wretched circumstances.
I hope that as people of faith we will continue to support those we have brought to Canada, and that we'll continue to pray for resolution to what is a monumental humanitarian crisis. Our work of compassion is far from over.