» 02/13/2012, 00.00
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."
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.
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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.
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.
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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