Eastern Ghouta Evacuations Continue
Negotiations between rebel groups and Russia, the Syrian government’s main ally, have led to the evacuation of nearly 13,000 people from towns in Eastern Ghouta, Syria. The rebel group controlling Douma—home to approximately 140,000 people and the last rebel-held stronghold in Eastern Ghouta—begins a second round of talks with Russia today to negotiate surrender and evacuation terms. About 70 percent of Eastern Ghouta is now under government control, following a major offensive that began on Feb. 18. Eastern Ghouta’s death toll hovers around 1,500 people, while more than 5,000 are wounded.
God, for all the loss of life in Syria, we offer prayers of lament. We fervently pray for peace to come to Syria. We thank you for the agreements that are allowing families to be evacuated, and we pray for safe passage for all who need to escape. We pray for the people who need medicine, food, and water. We pray for traumatized children, threatened aid workers, and people without hope. Empower the powerful, Lord, to work toward an end to this violence.