Syrian Conflict 101

Reverend Francis RitchieMiscellany

Syrian Conflict

Since the start of the current Syrian conflict in 2011 there are a number of times when I have been asked to appear on Christian radio stations that I am connected to in order to provide a basic understanding of what is happening in Syria, along with some thoughts on why it might be happening. Through my work with Tearfund … Read More

Syria: Where is it Heading?

Reverend Francis RitchieHumanitarian Work

Recent reports around Syria have focused on all the international groups now entering the fight and who they are siding with. Most reports are dividing the factions along simplistic lines of Sunni and Shi’ite. My understanding of Islam is limited so I don’t properly understand this divide and would appreciate any knowledgeable readers who would be happy to take the … Read More

Escalation In Syria Deepens the Humanitarian Crisis

Reverend Francis RitchieHumanitarian Work

I heard someone say recently something along the lines of ‘if you think you know what’s going on in Syria, you don’t understand it.’ The whole thing is a mess and a report following a meeting of the ‘Friends of Syria’ (a group that doesn’t include the friends of the current Syrian government) demonstrates the mess clearly as do statements … Read More

Prelude to Military Intervention in Syria?

Reverend Francis RitchieUncategorized

The polls are showing the American people don’t want to be directly involved in the Syrian conflict in a military capacity. I’m guessing not many other countries want to be directly involved in such a way either. Both sides of the conflict are accusing the other of using chemical weapons. Obama seems to be walking a very careful path in terms … Read More

Where’s Your Focus?

Reverend Francis RitchieUncategorized

Last night the New Zealand Parliament passed the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, giving same sex couples the right to marry. It is an issue that has divided the Christian community and taken much of its attention and resources. I want to make a call, let’s move on and refocus. There is a world that desperately needs us to … Read More

For Bombing Victims Around the World

Reverend Francis RitchieUncategorized

If you’re the praying kind, take a moment to pray for the victims of bomb blasts that have made headlines so far in April. We pray for the victims of the car bomb that went off in central Damascus, Syria, killing 19 and injuring more than 50. We pray for the victims in the bus that was hit by a … Read More