Without doubt everyone is aware of the situation in Syria through the media and other means of communications. The fighting continues to intensify and safety in the cities continues to deteriorate. The Armenian community is not exempt from these general conditions, especially in Aleppo, Damascus, Kamishli, Kessab, and surrounding areas where daily battles cause destruction, injury, and death. Our community institutions, starting with our churches and extending to our schools and old age homes, are being damaged because of the fighting.
In the face of this urgent situation, and in order to immediately provide humanitarian aid to our brothers and sisters and community institutions, the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America formed a “Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief” together with the Armenian Catholic Eparchy, the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, and the Armenian Relief Society.
In order to accomplish our goals, the Central Committee of the “Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief” has agreed to the immediate implementation of the following steps:
1. Organize a fundraising drive through mass mailing.
2. Authorize a second plate collection for Syrian Armenian Relief during the five Sundays in September (2, 9, 16, 23, and 30) in all of the parishes of the Eastern Prelacy.
3. Organize fundraising meetings and events in our local communities.
4. Establish local sub-committees providing the opportunity for other organizations to join and participate in the relief efforts.
In a message sent to us, His Holiness Aram I said,
“The restoration of the Syrian Armenian community is of prime importance on a pan-Armenian level. It is imperative that all of our dioceses give special attention to relief aid for our Armenian community in Syria. The three Armenian religious communities in Syria, together with the political parties, and the charitable and benevolent organizations have formed a joint committee. We appeal to you to take similar action, and with a spirit of unity make a supreme effort in taking actions that cannot be delayed to help the restoration of the Syrian Armenian community.”
Through arrangements made by His Holiness, the collected funds will be transferred to Antelias, Lebanon, and will be available to the Syrian Armenian joint committee for humanitarian aid. A special bank fund has been established for this purpose. Checks can be payable to the “Armenian Apostolic Church of America,” and mailed to the Armenian Prelacy, 138 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. Please indicate “Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief” in the memo area.
Accordingly, we instruct all of the pastors and boards of trustees, and the political and charitable organizations to immediately, without delay, take the necessary steps so that we will be able to mitigate the pain of our brothers and sisters, and ease the apprehension of our national leaders.
Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief
Armenian Apostolic Church of America (Eastern Prelacy)
Armenian Catholic Eparchy
Armenian Evangelical Union of North America
Armenian Relief Society
Armenian Revolutionary Federation