» 06/12/2012, 00.00
Nuncio in Damascus: Syria sliding into hell, children used as human shields
Mgr Mario Zenari, nuncio in Syria, describes the human devastation caused by the war. There is the danger that factional hatreds might last decades. Christian, Alawi and Sunni leaders in Homs propose dialogue and reconciliation. UN report blames regime and rebels of torturing children.
(AsiaNews) - "Syria has started its slide into hell. In addition to material
destruction, the conflict is tearing at the heart. The destruction of homes,
the dead and the wounded can be quantified, but the disintegration of the soul
is impossible to measure," Mgr Mario Zenari told AsiaNews. "The danger of latent factional hatred exploding is there
and could last decades. However, I am confident in future peace," the apostolic
nuncio to Damascus said.
violent escalation that has intensified in the past few months is affecting
everyone, including children, the prelate explained. Against their will, they
have become part of the conflict.
media around the world report stories of massacres, torture and violence,
children run the risk of being used by both sides.
a just released report titled Annual
Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, the United
Nations presents the stories of children as young as nine used as human shields
by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
study does not spare the opposition from criticism. The rebel Free Syrian Army is
accused of recruiting hundreds of child soldiers, ranging from nine to 15 years
death of innocent youth and their use a human shields or soldiers is an
unacceptable crime," the bishop said. "The international community and the United
Nations must do all they can to defend these innocent victims, exploited by the
regime and rebels alike. [. . .] Sadly, beside the war on the ground, a media
war is being waged so that we can't believe what anybody is saying."
there are signs that grassroots dialogue and reconciliation are still possible,
Mgr Zenari noted. On 25 May in Homs, one of the main hate-filled battlegrounds,
some Christian leaders organised a reconciliation (Musalaha in Arabic) assembly
for interreligious dialogue that brought in Sunnis and Alawis.
the past few days, the group organised various meetings with civil society groups
and delegates from Damascus.
far, its focus has been on finding missing or abducted people and securing
their release by convincing families and factions to give up arms in favour of
war situation is not helpful," he said, "but we hope to extend this initiative
to other Syrian cities."
Zenari is certain that dialogue can lead to real results. "The international
community, especially Christian countries, must not isolate Syria. Support for the
wall-to-wall clash between regime and rebels is dangerous and
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Nuncio to Damascus talks about Syrian conflict, UN optimism and the plight of an exhausted people
Mgr Zenari met with UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura, who is "determined" to reach a truce. His goal is to create areas in which to "freeze" the fighting and improve aid delivery. President Assad appears flexible on the matter. People are exhausted and "those who can try to flee." Hope is emerging about a united front against jihadists.
Nuncio in Damascus calls Yarmouk, a disgrace unfolding amid a silent international community
Shelled by government forces, the Palestinian refugee camp has fallen to the Islamic State group. Long ignored, this was a tragedy “for all to see,” said Mgr Zenari. “Poor civilians have paid the price of factional fighting,” he added. Despite difficulties, the Church has tried to help. Not only Syria, but the whole Middle East “is burning.”
Nuncio in Damascus calls on international community to help Syria out of hellish trap
Mgr Mario Zenari pleads with the UN Security Council in New York. The situation can only get worse if the international community remains divided. Some 200 people die in another massacre in Tremseh (Hama).
Nuncio in Damascus: no news about Fr Mourad, not even about who abducted him
“The Archeparchy of Homs, the patriarch and the community of Mar Musa have activated all channels to make contact with the kidnappers, but without success so far,” said Mgr Zenari. Meanwhile, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for yesterday’s suicide attack at a Shia mosque in al Qadeeh, in the eastern Saudi province of Qatif that caused at least 21 deaths.
As fighting reaches Damascus, apostolic nuncio expects dark days ahead
Mgr Mario Zenari describes the tensions residents face. For the past two days, the capital has been the scene of fighting between rebels and the Republican Guard, with 64 dead. The witness of nuns from Azeir monastery (Homs) is a sign of hope for Christians, Alawis and Sunnis.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
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