USA TODAY" The Christian conference Passion announced on Monday that it raised more than $785,000 to fund a hospital for displaced women and children in northwest Syria. The organization says it will house the country’s first intensive care unit for newborns.
“I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to have a tangible, lasting impact in Syria,” said Wake Forest University sophomore Larisa Hanger, who attended Passion.
“Most people will seek a political angle any time Syria or the Middle East is mentioned, but the reality is that the love of God transcends nations and politics,” said Zach Walden, a law student at the University of Alabama.
The wildly popular, and now global, event — upwards of 40,000 people attended, according to organizers — targets people 18-25. It was held Jan. 2-4 in Houston and two locations in Atlanta. Worship sessions feature Christian rock music and speakers.
For the first time, the conference, which was launched in 1997 by Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, was livestreamed.
The event traditionally has also helped those in need.