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» 02/22/2012
SYRIA
Threatened by violence, Christians flee Syria, says Aleppo archbishop
Mgr Audo urges Catholics to pray for peace and the reconciliation of the Syrian people. Caritas gives food and basic necessities to 500 Christian and Muslim families in Homs, the city most affected by the civil war. Two Western journalists are killed in Homs' Baba Amr district.

Aleppo (AsiaNews) - "Christians are the minority most threatened by Syria's civil war and are trying to flee the country. They feel defenceless against the escalation of violence that has raged in the country for months. Pray for peace and the reconciliation of the Syrian people!" Mgr Antoine Audo, Caldean archbishop of Aleppo, told AsiaNews.

"We Christians are the weakest psychologically and in terms of self-defence," the prelate explained. "For us, fleeing is our only salvation, like in other Middle Eastern countries, especially Iraq. All this does serious harm to the Church and the Christian presence in Syria."

Reiterating the call for dialogue launched by the pope in the Angelus of 12 February, Mgr Audo noted that, despite their fear, Christians can be a bridge between the various warring factions.

"Our presence united around the Church helps Christians and Muslims work together for the good of the country, pushing towards reconciliation rather than vengeance."

The prelate cited the work by Caritas Syria, which has began an aid programme in Homs, one of the cities most affected by the violence, on behalf of 500 families, 400 Christian and 100 Muslim. In six months, each household will receive foot and basic necessities worth US$ 600.

Caritas is also actively helping senior citizens and the sick through its volunteers, who are drawn from Aleppo's entire Christian community in.

Meanwhile, two foreign journalists, Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin and freelance French photo-reporter Rémi Ochlik, were killed in Homs' Baba Amr district. The two were in a building used by rebels as a communications centre when it came under shellfire from Syrian security forces. After it took a direct hit, it collapsed. (S.C.)

 


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See also
02/23/2012 SYRIA
The 'Friends of Syria' expected to meet tomorrow in Tunis
06/15/2011 SYRIA – TURKEY
Giant pro-Assad rally in Damascus, bishop says 80 per cent of the people behind him
05/24/2013 SYRIA
Assad "maybe" open to dialogue. In Aleppo young Christians offer their lives for the poor
06/18/2013 LEBANON - SYRIA
Beirut: appeal for Catholic-Orthodox unity and an end to the war in Syria
08/09/2011 SYRIA
The Pope's appeal and the fears of Christians in Syria
by JPG

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

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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