250,000 casualties, including 10,000 children. 12 million displaced people forced to leave their homes. 12.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. These are the figures of the Syrian crisis, which give it a dramatic preeminence as the largest humanitarian crisis and the biggest emergency of refugees in the world today.
Four years after the beginning of the fighting, the military, political and humanitarian situation in this region shows no sign of reaching a solution, but rather it remains caught in a continuous tangle of strategic interests, a tangle of local geopolitical and international knots, crushed at the same time by the clamp of terrorism and the growth of the Islamic Caliphate.
The whole Church has at heart the good of the Syrian people and is observing with concern the events as they unfold, mobilizing actions of support and assistance to the population, and insistently calling with all available means for a possible political and peaceful solution to the conflict.
This dramatic situation requires urgent and effective interventions. Nearly two years ago, this fact led the Pontifical Council for the Family, among others, to launch, on the occasion of the Pilgrimage of Families in the presence of Pope Francis, on October 26th, 2013, the campaign under the title "Families in the world for families of Syria" in support of families and refugees fleeing from the war.
The same urgency has led us to bring attention on the suffering of this population at the forthcoming VIII World Meeting of Families, to be held in Philadelphia from 22 to 27 September, by adding to the five families from the five continents who will receive the Gospel of Luke from the Pope a fifth family from Syria.