COMMUNITIES across the country are being urged to light candles this Sunday as a gesture of support for the men, women and children trapped in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo.

Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr, Moderator of the General Assembly, said the Light for Aleppo initiative comes as te bombing of Aleppo has resumed following a brief ceasefire.

The Chaplaincy of the University of Edinburgh is encouraging communities and individuals everywhere to light beacons or candles at 5pm on Sunday 20 November, as signs of vigilance and hope.

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Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr said: "The darkness that is Aleppo has filled the news reports for weeks and months: the seemingly endless bombardment, the terrible suffering of the people, and the inability, or unwillingness, of the international community to bring the conflict to an end.

"What can we do to offer support and assure the people of Aleppo their suffering is not forgotten."

Harriet Harris, University Chaplain said: "The beacons can be as simple as lighting a candle in a window, though we are also hoping for a fair few community gatherings, with the churches being integral to this vision."

Gais Masri, 19, who came to Scotland from Syria two years ago, said the Light for Aleppo initiative gives him hope for the future and added: "It means that people are thinking about us and they did not forget us and there is still hope that war will end in Syria and everything might be fine."

The Chaplaincy is also asking participants to collect funds for the charities Oxfam and Medecins Sans Frontieres, which are both working to save lives in Aleppo.