MCC Photo/Silas Crews

Syrian Orthodox Bishop Selwanos oversees the Homs area in Syria and works closely with MCC to provide material aid to communities affected by the Syrian crisis

On March 3, MCC Ontario was honoured to have Bishop Selwanos visit our office, He shared stories and offered glimmers of hope, and great gratitude for his partnership with Mennonite Central Committee.


I became a bishop at St. Mary’s Church in Homs, Syria, in 1999. I used to help care for orphans there, and minister with 20 priests in 30 churches, serving 15,000 families.

The war has brought so many losses. The church and orphanage have been destroyed. About 1,000 church members have been killed. Many families have fled. Most can’t return because their houses were destroyed.

My own brother was injured by a bomb and died from his wounds last September.

I pray every day. I ask God, I plead with God to help me to see what to do.

Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” Every day, I believe it. When I am tired, like today, I believe it. I tell people to pray for the organizations with me, like MCC and other groups, because the cross is heavy … [They] are coming to help us.


Launch an S.O.S. for Syria campaign! Invite 33 of your friends to each give $3.33 a day—the cost of a cappuccino—for 3 months. That adds up to $10,000! Together, you’ll provide relief for 1,000 people or about 200 families. Start an S.O.S. for Syria campaign online now!

SOSforSyria.mcco.ca