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» 07/30/2012
SYRIA
Armenian Archbishop of Aleppo: the Pope's words a sign of hope for all Syrians
Archbishop Marayati, reacts to pope's message to Syrian people pronounced at yesterday's Angelus. The Catholics of Aleppo endure the war through prayer and fasting for dialogue and reconciliation. AsiaNews sources underline the plight of the population. High risk of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Aleppo (AsiaNews) - "The Holy Father's closeness and his comfort of the Syrian people, instills hope in our hearts. His words remind all Syrian Catholics to pray for peace and reconciliation between Sunnis and Alawites", says Msgr. Boutros Marayati, Armenian-Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo. The prelate says the Pope's message yesterday during the Angelus has already been translated into Arabic and in the coming days will be published throughout the various parishes and dioceses in the country.

The Archbishop points out that in these days of war, the population is afraid and feels helpless in the face of ongoing violence between rebels of the Free Syrian Army and the military. For Christians, the only gesture that still inspires hope is prayer. "We asked our faithful to fast - he says - and to offer their sufferings for peace and dialogue".

The situation in the city, the hub of the Syrian economy, is worsening day by day. Since yesterday evening Bashar al-Assad's army has been laying siege to neighborhoods in the north controlled by the rebels. This morning Assad's army conquered the district of Salaheddine, controlled by the guerrillas of the FSA. The unrest has killed at least 168.

AsiaNews sources say that Aleppo became a ghost town since the beginning of the offensive. The silence is only broken by mortar fire and the aerial bombardment. The population is exhausted and lives barricaded in their homes, even in neighborhoods untouched by the fighting. "There is nothing left in the city we are running out of everything - sources refer - there is no water, food is scarce and there are no medicines. There is a real risk of a humanitarian catastrophe".

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing the country to seek refuge in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. According to the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the displaced are at least 200 thousand and their numbers are still rising. Yesterday, the Jordanian government opened a new refugee camp in Zaaratri a few kilometers from the Syrian border. To date, over 130 thousand people, mostly women and children, have found refuge in the kingdom. (SC)


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See also
08/09/2011 SYRIA
The Pope's appeal and the fears of Christians in Syria
by JPG
07/05/2012 SYRIA
Nuncio in Damascus: All peace initiatives to end the war in Syria
03/14/2012 SYRIA - UN
Assad responds to Kofi Annan and fixes election for May
05/08/2014 SYRIA
As rebels leave Homs, opposition calls for more US weapons
02/13/2012 SYRIA
Without dialogue Syria will become a new Iraq, Aleppo bishop says

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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