In 2011, pro-democracy rallies in Syria turned violent when government forces arrested and tortured several youth for painting revolutionary slogans on a school wall. This quickly escalated into a full out civil war. The government has been accused of violating international laws during this war, and their actions have resulted in the starvation, torture, and death of over 6% of their entire population. ISIS saw this as the perfect opportunity to expand their territory. They have taken advantage of the turmoil and have taken over a significant portions of Syria. The USA and Russia have entered into the conflict, each with their own political motives. The civil war has become a proxy war in which Syrian civilians die as a by-product of foreign nations own interests. 80% of Syrian’s children require humanitarian aid, with 3.5 million children having been born into and knowing nothing other than this conflict. Despite this staggering humanitarian aid requirement, various forces are actively working against aid reaching the people, and so they continue to suffer.
St. Dominic and Assumption Parishes, through the formation of a Refugee Committee, have answered the call of our Holy Father to support these refugees.
“We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To re-spond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common tempta-tion nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
– Pope Francis, September 24, 2015
The first step in supporting a refugee family is to raise the required funds to support them for one year. Our goal is to raise $40,000. We appreciate that there is a downturn in the local economy, and times are tough for Albertans. However, during this Year of Mercy, we need to look beyond our own financial problems and look to the heart breaking reality our Syrian brothers and sisters are
experiencing. All we require is about 60 families to pledge $50/month for 12 months to change the life of one family (as well as that of our faith community forever.
St. Dominic/Assumption Refugee Committee