The Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, Samir Nassar, has written to Christians in the West asking them to help his country’s 12 million refugees and displaced people.
In a letter to Aid to the Church in Need, the Maronite archbishop called the Syrian crisis “the cruelest human drama since the Second World War”, pointing out that 5.6 million children were affected by the war and that many people were dying in the conflict from wounds because of the exodus of doctors and a shortage of medical drugs. He also noted that 1,400 mosques and 91 churches had been destroyed in the conflict.
“Fear, violence, and intolerance accelerate an exodus via underground, even if it means dying, in search of any retreat from this hell.”
He added: “Thanks to heroic priests in two neighborhoods, we launched the construction of a basement and an apartment for places of worship. The cathedral is far from the faithful so we had to relocate near the faithful.
“When churches are destroyed Christians are displaced. These Christians, while in danger, organised to build two small chapels. Each person gives what he or she can for this work. Some pray a rosary for this intention.”
Concluding that the faithful in Syria needed support from outside, he added: “It is true that these projects will not advance without financial support from outside, but the fact of the faithful gather around these initiatives in these painful days, is itself generative of Christian Hope and Spiritual Resurgence.”
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