“In principio erat Verbum – in the beginning was the Word; at the origin of everything is the creative reason of God”, said Pope Benedict XVI. Faith and reason are necessary for each other. “Without reason, faith degenerates; without faith, reason threatens to become stunted.”
Using our reason is essential for us as Christians, so that we can better understand our Faith. For Christians in Islamic countries, and especially in Syria, it is also needed for survival. Only well-educated Christians can defend themselves to their Islamic neighbours and flourish and thrive in this environment. A good education is also necessary for young Christians to have any chance in the job market. And only young Christians who are enrolled at university can avoid conscription in the army. Education is the key to peaceful coexistence among those of conflicting beliefs. That is one reason why Christians in the Middle East have always attached great importance to their children receiving a good education. It is also why their children’s schooling and university studies are so important to them.
For Christians who are now returning to Aleppo, or who have never left the city, issues such as how they will pay for their children’s studies are never far from their minds. Working with ten local Christian Churches ACN has drawn up a programme to support students. Under this scheme some 7,340 young people will receive €20 per month for the duration of the academic year (eight months) – to help with transport, food and other essentials. The Church also organises spiritual events for students, to support their souls in addition to supporting their studies. The students’ prayers, along with their studies, can help to build a peaceful future in Syria. Would you consider supporting one student for one year in Aleppo?