Local church holds prayer service as Syria tensions intensify - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Local church holds prayer service as Syria tensions intensify


ALBANY, N.Y. -- A prayer service was held Monday night at Saint George's Orthodox Church in Albany, as the impact of the crisis in Syria continues to be felt in the Capital Region.

Participants called for a peaceful end to the conflict in Syria, restraint on the part of the U.S. government, and for the release of the kidnapped bishops and clergy.

"The parishioners are very nervous about what is going on and feel for people that have families over there," said St. George's parish member, Wahid Albert. "We do a lot of praying."

Albert is from Syria and still has family there. He says with every day that passes, they get more anxious.

"They saw President Obama as a person who came into the presidency to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and they can't seem to think that he will start another war in their country," said Albert.

The parish is also praying for two orthodox bishops kidnapped in the region back in April.

"That is a big concern for Christians of Syria because if bishops aren't sacred, who is?," he said.

Albert says he still speaks to his extended family in Damascus every day and, as of now, internet is still strong and communication hasn't been jeopardized.

He says he welcomes any dialogue by all countries and parties that are willing, in order to make the right decision when it comes to United States intervening in Syria.

"The revenge is always something," said Albert.  "It is dear to people of the Middle East and cycle of violence will be created again."

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