Learn More About Syria
• There are 13.5 million people, including 6 million children, who require some form of humanitarian assistance inside Syria.
• Four out of five Syrians live in poverty.
• One in three Syrians don’t have enough food, and 70% are without access to adequate drinking water.
• More than 2 million Syrian children are out of school.
• Up to 4.5 million people in Syria live in hard-to-reach areas, including nearly 400,000 people in 15 besieged locations who do not have access to life-saving aid.
The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land has been present in Syria since the 13th century, and the Franciscan friars remain with the people today, providing pastoral and spiritual care, in a time of violence. They also help Syrians of all faiths who need shelter, food, water, medical care, life-saving medicines and more.
Throughout the Holy Land
The Franciscan Friars’ work in the Holy Land is vital. As Pope Francis says, “We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians.” We preserve the holy places and make it possible for Christians to remain in the land of Jesus.
Persecution and conflict in the Middle East, and a declining Christian population make our work increasingly important. The ability of families in many of these regions to stay in their home countries is being increasingly threatened by national strife, terrorism, and the lack of employment and education opportunities. We help care for children, families, refugees and others in need throughout the region. We also keep Christianity alive in the land made holy by the birth, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
We are currently…
• Providing ongoing emergency funds to the people in Syria and Iraq
• Supporting 29 parishes, 4 homes for orphans and 3 academic institutions
• Operating 16 schools for more than 10,000 pre-K through grade 12 students
• Providing university scholarships
• Relocating and providing homes to Christian families
• Rehabilitating destroyed homes for Christians families
• Provided senior care facilities in Bethlehem and Nazareth
• Creating jobs for Christians in the Holy Land
• Preserving 74 sanctuaries and shrines from the life of Jesus and the prophets
• Supporting more than 100 men preparing to be priests or brothers
• Assisting Syrian and Iraqi refugee families in Jordan and Lebanon by helping to pay for rent, food, heat, schooling and transportation.