INDIANAPOLIS – According to Kenan Rahmani, a national board member of the Syrian American Council based in Washington, D.C., the Syrian government has destroyed many mosques and churches in Syria during the past four months and killed thousands of its own citizens since March 2011, including the Aug. 21 gassing of 1,200 citizens, of which 400 were children.

The Syrian rebellion has caused 2.2 million citizens to flee the country. More than 10 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid. Along with other Syrian American speakers, mostly medical doctors in Indiana, Rahmani painted a dismal picture of life in once was part of the cradle of western civilization.

The Syrian Americans met with United Methodist social advocates during A Night of Advocacy & Solidarity Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Broad Ripple United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, which included a Syrian-style meal and inter-faith prayers for the people of Syria.

More than 100 Syrian Americans and United Methodists attended the event to raise awareness and money to be used to build refugee hospitals across the border in Turkey.

During the event, Indiana physicians connected with the Syrian American Medical Society showed pictures and told how their group was outfitting field hospitals in refugee camps to maintain the health of migrating Syrians. One of the greatest needs discussed was the requirements of dialysis patients who were surviving on inexpensive make-shift dialysis machines.

The Indiana Conference Social Advocacy Team pledged $1,200 to the Syrian American Medical Society for refugee hospitals. More than $25,000 was raised during the evening event.

For more information, contact the Rev. Matt Landry, leader of the Conference Social Advocacy Team at


The Syrian rebellion has caused 2.2 million citizens to flee the country.

Together photo

Syrian women serve Syrian native foods during A Night of Advocacy & Solidarity, Oct. 5 in Broad Ripple.