The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have urged the UN Security Council to demonstrate a united opposition to the violent actions of the Syrian regime.
Since the start of mass protests one year ago, thousands of people are thought to have been killed in the uprising.
“We are dismayed by the Syrian Government’s violent and unrestrained attacks on its own citizens, resulting in thousands of deaths and significant numbers of refugees flooding into neighbouring countries. Such action cannot possibly be justified,” Revd Leo Osborn, President of the Methodist Conference, Revd Dr Kirsty Thorpe, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church and Revd Jonathan Edwards, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain said in a joint statement.
They said that the UN Special Representative Kofi Annan’s initiative with the Syrian government is crucial and deserves the undivided support of the international community.
Given the tragic events of the past year, the church leaders called on Russia and China to accept that it is unjust for the Assad regime to continue to receive diplomatic and military support.
They asked the UN Security Council to “unequivocally condemn Syria’s state-sanctioned attacks on its own people.”
The church leaders supported the call by humanitarian and human rights groups for a Security Council resolution demanding an immediate end to the killing.
They also asked the armed groups to allow unrestricted access of humanitarian agencies to the areas where people are currently without food, healthcare or education.
“We are concerned that, should diplomatic initiatives fail and the opposition groups achieve success in securing support for arms, the violence could escalate still further. Our prayers are for a halt to the bloodshed and for diplomacy and mediation to offer a way forward for the Syrian people,” the church leaders said.
The church leaders urged all to pray for peace in Syria.