Join me today in praying for civilians suffering in Eastern Ghouta, Syria, and for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. 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 for those suffering from attacks and bombings in Eastern Ghouta, Syria, that the 1000+ dead and dying will be welcomed into heaven for the sake of the suffering they experienced at the end of their life. I pray that the 4800+ injured will heal fully and quickly, and that those traumatized by their experiences will encounter the peace of Christ to bear their burdens.
I pray that international powers and their leaders will see a moral and human obligation to intervene to stop the killing.
I pray that the Syrian government will allow unimpeded aid to reach each person in Eastern Ghouta. I pray especially that healthcare supplies and workers will be able to reach each care facility in order to preserve and save lives. I pray that aid workers will not be attacked and not be victims of attacks targeting the area.
I pray that warring factions in Yemen will cease for the sake of the 22 million of the country’s 26 million people who are in need of humanitarian aid. I pray that unimpeded aid as well as commercial trade will be allowed into the country and spread quickly throughout the country.
I pray that those at risk of starvation will receive necessary food. I pray that those suffering from severe acute malnutrition will have food and care to nurture them back to good health. I pray that all those infected by cholera and diphtheria will be saved.
I pray that the estimated 2 million displaced Yemenis will have shelter and the necessities to live.
I pray for the Rohingya, that they will no longer be attacked and persecuted in Myanmar, and that at their refugee camps in Bangladesh conditions will improve so that there will be adequate housing, sanitation, food, clean water, and healthcare and counseling access to support each person.
I pray that pregnant women, new mothers, and young children will receive the care they need to be healthy. I pray that each of the Rohingya will encounter the peace of Christ through Christian aid workers.
I pray that their camps will be spared from potential disaster during Bangladesh’s soon-to-come monsoon season.
Notes and Explanations
Eastern Ghouta is a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, Syria’s capital. For months it has been under seige. For the past several months, with the exception of the past two weeks, food, water, and medical supplies have not been allowed into the area, nor residents allowed out.
Starting in February 18th, an intense bombing campaign by the Syrian military has destroyed much of Eastern Ghouta, killing over one thousand and injuring over 4800 between the 18th and March 4th, according to MSF (Doctors Without Borders).
Yemen has been in a state of civil war, involving international powers, since 2014. In the past the Saudi-led coalition has besieged the country, blockading their ports. 22 million of Yemen’s 26 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, with millions at risk of starvation, and over a million with preventable diseases such as cholera and diphtheria. Read about it here.
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.