Join me today in praying for refugees around the world and the conflict that causes them. My name is Fouad Abou-Rizk and I am a Catholic who is passionate about international crisis relief.
I pray for a peaceful end to war in Syria. I pray that the injured will heal fully and quickly, and that those traumatized by war will encounter the peace of Christ.
I pray that Syrian refugees will not be seen as a pest in neighboring or European countries in which they have fled to. I pray that they will be treated with mercy and compassion. I pray that wherever they go, there will be people with resources to help them.
I pray that in Lebanon, where almost one third of the population is a Syrian refugee, foreign countries and international organizations will come to their aid, as the Lebanese government does not have the capability to support them.
I pray that the United States and European countries will be welcoming and compassionate to refugees.
I pray for the Rohingya, that their refugee camps in Bangladesh will be spared from potential disasters during the upcoming monsoon season. I pray that conditions will change so that their camps will have adequate housing, sanitation, food, clean water, and healthcare and counseling access to provide for each person.
I pray especially that there will be adequate care being provided to pregnant women, new mothers, and young children. I pray that You will save each person at risk of death from diphtheria.
I pray that worldwide, refugees will be welcome with mercy and compassion. I pray that wherever they go, they will be met by people with resources to help them.
I pray that conflicts that cause refugees or internally displaced persons will end so that people will be able to return to their homes. I pray that there will be international assistance to restore the homes, cities, and economies destroyed by conflict so that refugees will be able to return to a decent life, rather than destruction and ruin, in their former communities.
Notes and Explanations
Civil war in Syria began in 2011 and has produced over five million refugees and 6 million internally displaced people, over half of the country’s population. The vast majority of their refugees are in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.
Lebanon has the highest refugee per capita population in the world. The country is home to 4 million Lebanon people and about 2 million refugees. There are about 500,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, most of whom have lived in Lebanon for their entire lives.
Countries neighboring conflict zones such as Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan meanwhile are overwhelmed with the amount of refugees in their countries and cannot or do not provide important services to them.
The Rohingya are an ethnic Muslim minority from Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Since August 2017 they have been persecuted by Myanmar’s military which the U.N. has called a textbook case of ethnic cleansing. Myanmar’s government has denied all allegations and claim that the 700,000 plus Rohingya who have entered Bangladesh in recent months did not come from their country.
Rohingya camps are basically built on dirt from areas that have been deforested since August to make space for them. Due to this, there is a major risk of disastrous flooding and landslides during Bangladesh’s upcoming monsoon season. The extra water and mud can also lead to the spread of otherwise preventable diseases such as diphtheria. Samaritan’s Purse operates a clinic to treat Rohingya children with diphtheria and their work is an inspiration to me.