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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
08/29/2014 SYRIA - UNITED NATIONS
UN warns of 3 million Syrian refugees, "the world's largest humanitarian emergency"
05/08/2014 SYRIA
As rebels leave Homs, opposition calls for more US weapons

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
ASIA
Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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