With civilian casualties and deaths increasing daily in Aleppo, this organic, grassroots movement has now seen hundreds of churches ringing bells of mourning. It is an outcry against the devastating impact on the population as well as the infrastructure caused by the bombings on the besieged 3,000-year-old Syrian city.
The initiative was taken by the Evangelical Lutheran Parish of Kallio in Helsinki, Finland, on 12 October. By Sunday 16 October, the symbolic gesture had been taken on by over 300 churches both in Finland and abroad. The bells are already ringing on four continents, and more churches join in every day.
Dr. Teemu Laajasalo, Vicar of Kallio Parish, Helsinki, Finland:
"Schools and hospitals are being bombed in Aleppo. The very buildings meant to protect, nurture and sustain life are being demolished. Small children are being killed, the ones that need our care and protection the most.
But the issue is not only about the dead. Even the living are dead in Aleppo - in constant fear - often without water and food, and always without refuge.
The situation is politically complex - but morally simple. Killing children and civilians is wrong. Starving the most vulnerable among us is wrong.
Funeral bells are ringing in churches across the world, reminding people of the ongoing funeral taking place in Aleppo. Funeral bells are honouring the victims. But they are also declaring the words of Christ: 'Blessed are the peacemakers', and therefore summoning all the people in power to find a solution to end the suffering."
Hopefully the bells ringing across Finland will inspire international church communities to join the virally spreading protest and help hasten the cessation of suffering in Aleppo.
Map of the churches involved: http://www.bellsforaleppo.org
Video: the Bells of Kallio Church toll (https://we.tl/7khlnLArUH)
SOURCE Lutheran Parish of Kallio