Lynn Green, general secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, joined other Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh faith leaders to urge the U.K. to help besieged Syrians. (Photo: Jamaica Baptist Union)
Baptist Union of Great Britain General Secretary Lynn Green has joined other faith leaders in urging the United Kingdom's government to take immediate action to deliver aid to civilians in besieged Aleppo.
The plea comes as humanitarian organizations warn that supplies of food and medicine are running out in eastern Aleppo.
The besieged area of the city has not received any deliveries of aid since August, and medical staff in the city are reporting cases of illnesses linked to malnutrition.
The Syrian regime has repeatedly blocked the United Nations from delivering aid to the area. Now time is running out for the 250,000 people who live there, who lack even the most basic food and medical supplies.
On Nov. 10, as the last remaining U.N. food parcels were distributed in the city, the U.N. warned mass starvation was a real prospect if aid was not allowed in.
The U.K. has a range of options for breaking the deadlock.
The statement - signed by Green alongside a broad group of Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh faith leaders - calls for action from the government to deliver aid to those besieged in the city.
This is the full text of the joint statement:
"We, UK faith leaders, jointly call on the UK Government to act to support the urgent delivery of aid to those besieged in Aleppo.
"In eastern Aleppo, an estimated 250,000 people, including 100,000 children, have been cut off from food and medical supplies since August 2016. The UN warns that there will soon be no food left in the besieged part of the city.
"This is an ancient city which has been home to people of many faiths, we pray for all those still in the city and call for action to preserve the lives of the people of Aleppo.
"The situation is now desperate, yet the UN is still being prevented from delivering desperately needed aid to the besieged civilians. It seems a very real possibility that the world could stand by whilst 250,000 people are facing starvation.
"As faith leaders we bear witness to the suffering of all those in the city of Aleppo. We call on the UK government to take action at an international level, including in the UN General Assembly, and to provide practical support to facilitate the delivery of aid to civilians in the city.
"The UK can lead the way in alleviating the terrible suffering of the people of Aleppo, we pray that action is taken to come to their aid."
Paul Hobson is editor of The Baptist Times of Great Britain - the online newspaper of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. A longer version of this news article first appeared in The Baptist Times and is used with permission. You can follow him on Twitter @PaulHobson10, The Baptist Times @BaptistTimes and the Baptist Union @BaptistUnionGB.