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What is happening in Syria and why?

Syria-Lebanon Partnership Network to offer context and training in spring virtual meeting

by Kathy Melvin | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — What is happening in Syria and what can be done to help is the focus of the first virtual gathering of the Syria-Lebanon Partnership Network (SLPN), set for noon through 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 13.

The two-hour Zoom meeting is free, but registration is required. The first hour will focus on the current situation in Syria and the second hour will focus on how the faith community can help. Participants are welcome to join for one or both hours.

Speakers for the event will include:

the Rev. Salam Hanna

  • The Rev. Salam Hanna will join from Latakia, Syria, where he serves as pastor and director of relief projects for the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. He will describe the suffering of the Syrian people and how their situation has been made worse by U.S. government sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic, following 10 years of conflict and destruction of the economy and the country’s infrastructure.

Dr. Joshua Landis

The second portion of the gathering will focus on SLPN’s 2021 Advocacy Initiative. The goal is to mobilize people of faith to become advocates for Syria by helping both the American public and Washington policymakers see that diplomacy can trace a better path to hope and stability in Syria than military force or economic sanctions. With the expertise of the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, advocates will be provided talking points and training for their roles.

To register, click here. A Zoom link will be sent as part of the registration packet.

The Syria-Lebanon Partnership Network brings together Presbyterians from around the United States to facilitate partnerships with churches and church-related ministries in Syria and Lebanon. The network also provides a place for US Presbyterians to share information and coordinate their efforts. Priorities of the network include supporting the capacity of the church in Syria and Lebanon, supporting leadership development and theological education, and working towards a just peace in the region.

For more information about the network, click on www.syrialebanonpn.org. The site holds significant resources, including a study guide written by four members of the SLPN who believe that the views of our partners in the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, and Syrians generally, are not being heard in the U.S.  The study guide was created to help readers understand the background and current situation in the Middle East.


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