- "The war in Syria is driving thousands of people away from their homes
and out of the country. Most of the people displaced in the country or refugees
outside do not think they will ever be able to go back to their villages. Those
to Lebanon are trying to make their way to Europe or to other countries. Thanks
to donations, we hope to convince Syrians to stay. Syria, the cradle of
Christianity and a symbol of unity between Christians and Muslims, could
disappear," said Fr Halim,
a missionary with the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land and a former
provincial of Syria.
Speaking to AsiaNews, the clergyman called on Christians
to heed the appeal made by ATS pro Terra
Sancta, the NGO of the Custody, in favour of the civilian population
because the situation is becoming increasingly difficult for Christians and the
entire population. In places like Aleppo and the mountains along the Orontes,
residents no longer have water, electricity, and gas and are likely to die of
Even his confrères
are unable to communicate with the outside world, the priest said, and have to share
the tragic experience with the people.
brothers," he noted, "work every day with these people, regardless of religion,
to help them in economic and spiritual matters. Franciscans are not into
politics. They help needy families, who lost everything, inside and outside Syria,
giving shelter to the homeless in convents."
Despite the war,
bombing and threats from Muslim extremists, 11 Franciscan friars have chosen to
remain in Syria to take care of the population in Aleppo, Damascus, Azizieh,
Latakiyah and Kanyeh.
"Syria is a
touchy issue and civilians are helpless in front of the ferocity of what is
happening," said Fr Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, in launching the
"In addition to
prayer I ask all those who can to send help. Not basic supplies-this will not
help since they won't be able to enter the country-but money to buy (if need be
on the "unofficial" market) whatever is necessary to allow countless families
to survive, particularly the poorest ones."
In order to make
a donation to the Franciscans for their work in Syria, please send:
º € 150 to
support a family of three for two weeks
º € 500 to
provide humanitarian aid to three families in a refugee camp for three weeks
º € 1,000
to support a canteen for the poor for a month
be made to the following account:
Association of the Holy Land
Etica - IBAN: IT67 W050 0000 18,121,010 0,122,691
Description of payment: Syria Emergency.