Responding to the ongoing agony of a virtual civil war in Syria, the 220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) calls for the following steps of prayer, witness, and action on behalf of the Syrian people:
1. Invite all Presbyterians to join in prayer for Syria, using this one and others:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, as you appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, shine forth in these dark days to show us your way of peace. Put an end to violence and murderous threats. Fill every heart with the Spirit of peace; in your holy name we pray. Amen” (based on Acts 9).
2. Stand with the Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, our partner church, and other churches who have already themselves helped Christian refugees from Iraq, understanding the dangers that surround religious and other minorities in times of violence.
3. Encourage Presbyterians to become more fully informed about what is actually happening in Syria and within the peace-seeking efforts of the international community.
4. Request the Middle East Office, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, and other offices of the General Assembly Mission Council to post this resolution and other relevant information online, including communication from our partner churches, noting that objective information is often scarce and highly politicized.
5. Respond to this ongoing tragedy by generously giving to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering and to the designated giving account DR000081 – Middle East/Syria.
6. Urge the U.S. government to support a mediated process of cessation of violence by all perpetrators, including the Assad regime and armed opposition groups, to call for all outside parties to cease all forms of intervention in Syria, to support a strong and necessary role for the United Nations, possibly including observers and peacekeeping forces, and to refrain from military intervention in Syria.
7. Support full, public congressional debate of any potential U.S. intervention, including cyberwar, weapons supply, and training (as is already reported), and drone warfare, to examine carefully the possible humanitarian benefits, costs, and outcomes of such intervention, including its impacts on religious communities and those imprisoned by the Assad regime, and to support review of the impacts of sanctions and other pressure on both Syrian society and the regime.