Million Voices of Hope Will you add your voice for Christians in Syria and Iraq?
The Syrian and Iraqi populations are facing immense suffering because of years of war and violent unrest. We believe that in Syria and Iraq the lives, livelihoods and freedoms of all people should be protected and guaranteed. This includes the Christians.
The Christians in both these countries have played a vital role in society for almost 2,000 years and are committed to being a place of hope and compassion for the years to come. They face significant targeted violence and persecution. Yet, despite this, Christians seek a future in – and for – their homelands.
We cannot stand by while Christians in the Middle East face unprecedented threat. We must give them hope.
Will you join us in raising 1 Million Voices of Hope in prayer and advocacy for Christians in Syria and Iraq? We must tell the world in as loud a voice as possible what needs to be done to guarantee a genuine future for Christians in these countries. Will you add your voice and make a difference?
Why should I sign?
Global citizens and politicians around the world are asking whether Christians have a future in the Middle East. The answer must be a resounding ‘yes’.
Many are at a loss to imagine how this can be possible. But Syrian and Iraqi Christians have told us clearly what needs to be done to give them a future in their countries. It is vital that their voices are heard and their future guaranteed. This truly global petition is a practical way to join in prayer and action to support Christians in Syria and Iraq in their hour of greatest need.
What will you do with the petition?
The Open Doors team and partners will present this petition to the new Secretary General of the United Nations in December 2017 – the one person who has oversight of all the issues raised. It will have a huge impact if we can get this on their agenda at the beginning of their term in office. In addition, between now and December 2017, colleagues and partners around the world will raise these calls with different people and organisations who have direct influence over each of the campaign recommendations and can truly make a difference on the ground.
In 2013, over 300,000 people around the world signed the Save Syria petition calling on the United Nations (UN) to recognise that Christians were especially vulnerable within the Syrian crisis. Thanks to Save Syria, people at the highest levels know that Christians in Syria and Iraq are suffering. But nobody knows how to support Christians in the Middle East. Christians in Syria and Iraq tell us that they can stay if certain changes are made. We must act immediately to tell the world in as loud a voice as possible what these changes are so that Christians can have a hope for a future in their homelands, and can continue contributing to the good of their societies.
Will it make a difference?
In 2010, over 428,000 people signed the Right to Believe petition campaigning against the ‘defamation of religions’ resolution at the UN. In 2011 this resolution gained significantly less support. It has not been tabled since 2012.
In 2013, over 300,000 people around the world signed the Save Syria petition calling on the UN to recognise that Christians were especially vulnerable within the Syrian crisis. Thanks to Save Syria, people at the highest levels know that Christians in Syria and Iraq are suffering and it has now become mainstream knowledge.
These campaigns show how speaking out in advocacy can make a real difference. With your support, we can have a louder voice when we approach those who have the power and influence to deliver the recommendations of this campaign. But most importantly, while we advocate to politicians we also have an advocate in heaven – prayer and advocacy are a powerful and important combination.
How were the calls of the petition decided?
We conducted extensive consultations with Christians in Syria and Iraq between September 2015 and March 2016. These helped us to gain a clearer understanding of how Christians in the Middle East understand their role within their society, and to ascertain their needs in order to better understand how we can stand alongside Christians in the Middle East. The recommendations which came out of these consultations fell broadly into three categories. These three categories defined the content and calls of this petition.