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    » 02/13/2012, 00.00

    SYRIA

    Without dialogue Syria will become a new Iraq, Aleppo bishop says



    Mgr Antoine Audo speaks about the recent attacks that left 28 people dead in his city, including two Christians. The prelate notes the spirit of solidarity between Christians and Muslims, united despite a climate of hatred and violence. He calls on the international community to favour dialogue among the various factions rather than a spirit of vengeance. The Arab League calls for the deployment of United Nations troops to stop fighting between Syrian forces and rebels. Pope made an appeal on Sunday.
    Aleppo (AsiaNews) – “The international community must favour dialogue among the various groups rather than fuel the spirit of vengeance. Backing one faction against the other will turn Syria into a new Iraq. Otherwise, Christians will pay a heavy price,” said Mgr Antoine Audo, Chaldean bishop of Aleppo after last Saturday’s attack against two Syrian security forces bases that killed 28. Mgr Audo spoke to AsiaNews a day after Benedict XVI issued an appeal to the Syrian government, opposition forces and the international community.

    As Syria’s main commercial centre, Aleppo is a symbol of unity and dialogue between Christians, Shias and Sunnis. For a long time, the city was spared from the fighting that raged across the country between rebel troops and government forces since February 2011.

    However, tensions have risen in the last few weeks. After a car bomb attack, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Assad’s regime blamed each other for the attack. In Homs and in other rebel-held towns, shelling has resumed In recent days.

    Yesterday in Cairo, the 21 representatives of the member states of the Arab League (the 22nd, Syria, is suspended) called for the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers and Arab troops to Syria.

    Mgr Audo noted that despite the climate of violence and vengeance of the past few months, residents have remained united, not only in Aleppo but also in other cities.

    “Two Christians were killed in the attack,” the prelate explained. “They had gone to the mosque near the blast site to express their solidarity with Muslims. Yesterday, hundreds of people from both communities took part in their funeral.”

    According to the bishop, all Syrians irrespective of confessions are suffering from the violence and the deep economic crisis that has crippled the country.

    Sanctions and the climate of fear have interrupted almost all economic activities, including the sale of food and drugs. Poor families are the ones that suffer the most from the situation.

    “The Catholic Church,” he said, “is helping the exhausted population of Aleppo, Damascus and Homs. I am, as president of Caritas Syria, personally working with other local humanitarian groups to provide food and health treatment to families.”

    Yesterday, Benedict XVI issued a new "urgent appeal" to "end the violence and bloodshed" in Syria, along with an invitation to "give priority to the path of dialogue, reconciliation and commitment to peace.” The pope made the plea to everyone, but “above all the political authorities in Syria."
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    See also

    24/05/2013 SYRIA
    Assad "maybe" open to dialogue. In Aleppo young Christians offer their lives for the poor
    The President will participate in "principle" at peace conference in Geneva on June 10, proposed by Russia and the United States. So far, the opposition has not responded. The Syrian National Coalition increasingly divided between diplomacy and armed struggle. Bishop Audo, the Chaldean bishop speaks of the silent work of the Church of Aleppo. The faith of the young and their selfless help to the poor and displaced people are the real hope for the reconstruction of Syria.

    24/05/2012 SYRIA
    Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo: foreign forces do not want peace in Syria
    Foreign militants from Libya, Tunisia, Turkey and Pakistan present in the country. Msgr. Nazzaro: they arrived in Syria to create chaos. Christians and Muslims live and face the pain of war together.

    19/08/2016 16:45:00 SYRIA
    For Nuncio in Damascus, children's eyes are the mirror of the atrocities committed in Syria

    Since August, areas under siege have not received any aid. UN official calls for a halt to Aleppo bombing. The image of a child rescued from the rubble is the image of the Syrian conflict. For Mgr Zenari, there is “no light at the end of the tunnel”. A deal on “humanitarian aid” is crucial.



    30/12/2013 SYRIA
    Aleppo archbishop: The Church is helping everyone "without distinction of religion or faction"
    Two weeks of bombing by the regime and the rebels left nearly 500 people dead. At Christmas, 12 bombs fell on the city's Christian neighbourhoods. "People are exhausted by war, hunger and cold," but "The solidarity between Muslims and Christians is a sign of hope for the future," said Mgr Antoine Audo, Chaldean archbishop of Aleppo said.

    05/05/2015 SYRIA
    Aleppo vicar: facility feeding Christians and Muslims counters “unimaginable” atrocities
    As government and rebel forces continue to perpetrate violence, Syria’s old “peaceful mosaic” lies shattered by external forces, Mgr Abou Khazen said. However, small acts of solidarity give some hope. A nun-run facility, funded by Christians and Muslims, feeds 12,000 people a day.



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