By Sarah Mac Donald - 09 October, 2013
A special Day of Prayer for Syria and its peoples is to take place in Belfast on Wednesday 23 October from 9am to 5pm.
Rev Canon Denise Acheson of St Anne’s Cathedral, who is helping to organise the Day of Prayer, has invited people from Belfast and beyond to come to the cathedral at any time during the day for whatever period of time they wish to spend.
“Whether you can come for only 5 minutes or 50 minutes, please come to the cathedral and add your prayers before God for peace at this critical time,” Canon Acheson said.
Prayers and readings for Syria will be led by a number of invited speakers and will take place on the hour throughout the day.
At 1pm and at the close of the day at 5.30pm, a Service of Reflection will take place with Psalms-based prayers for those affected by conflict and persecution.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has described the conflict in Syria as the worst humanitarian disaster since the end of the Cold War.
Almost seven million people require urgent assistance to meet their basic needs. More than two million people have fled to neighbouring countries such as Lebanon and Turkey.
Lebanon is now host to more than three-quarters of a million refugees from Syria in addition to over a quarter of a million Palestinian refugees.
Aid agencies have warned that many refugees do not have access to adequate shelter and basic services are limited. There is often violence and sexual exploitation in the camps.