Shortly before Christmas, 12 Syrian children died in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Ultimately the cold temperatures and lack of medical care was too much for them to bear. It's a story that has long been forgotten by the mainstream media.
Nonetheless tragic stories happen every day. In four years, Syria's civil war has left more than 300,000 people dead and at least 50,000 missing. 2014 was the deadliest year. More than 76,000 died in the conflict.
Nine million refugees have been forced to flee their homes. Now they live in camps based in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. The United Nations has described it as one of the worst humanitarian crisis in the last two decades.
With no end in sight, the Patriarch of Antioch, Gregory III, who serves as the head of the Melkite Greek Church is asking for prayers. He asked all Christians to light a candle on Christmas and every night thereafter, to pray for peace in the Middle East.
On January 25th, the prayer initiative will gain strength under the hashtag #PrayForThem. The day marks the end of the week of prayer for Christian Unity. That day at 9 o clock, Rome time, Christians of all confessions are called to pray together, for persecuted Christians.
The Church is hoping that be it through a candle or through social networks, the world will join in prayer.
The flame of the candle will symbolize the hope for peace in the Middle East...a light amid the darkness, millions of people are facing.