04/14/2020, 14.18
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Archbishop Nassar: Easter in Syria, buried beneath the war and coronavirus

Added to 10 years of war, the Covid-19 emergency "has buried us at the bottom of a deep pit". In a context of "abandonment and uncertainty" the risen Christ alleviates "loneliness and darkness". Fear of the virus has "silenced the weapons" that peace talks and world powers have been unable to. In dark times, the rediscovery of faith and the new role of society and social media.

Damascus (AsiaNews) - The coronavirus emergency in the middle of Lent "buried us at the bottom of a deep pit" as if "ten years of war." had not already been enough; in this context of "abandonment and profound uncertainty", the light of Christ "rises to alleviate our solitude and the darkness of this long and endless night of hatred and violence".

This is how Maronite Archbishop of Damascus Samir Nassar describes the current situation of his church and nation to AsiaNews, recounting the atmosphere of Easter in a country marked by conflicts, extremist violence, sanctions by the United States and Europe and the Covid-19  pandemic.

To counter the epidemic, the government ordered a curfew from 6 p.m. to the same time in the morning; on Fridays and Saturdays it comes into effect at noon until 6 the next morning. The only activities open are pharmacies, bakeries, food shops and taxis for city transport. Now that public transport has been interrupted, there are no means of travel between cities and regions, which remain isolated from each other.

To date, the official toll is 25 infections and two victims, but the number of tests carried out remains low.

"A light of peace - continues the Archbishop of Damascus - illuminates our dark cave. The coronavirus has silenced weapons and violence. A rare calm reigns on all fronts, a calm that all peace talks and world powers have failed to find."

This is joined by "a rediscovery of our faith" away from "closed churches and functions celebrated in front of empty altars", where "everyone examines their personal faith and discovers their own spirituality without intermediation". In this context, "a new way to witness the faith emerges".

At this stage, says the prelate, we witnessed "a rediscovery of family life, a light that restores its lost values ​​to the domestic Church" in a modern context that exalted self-centeredness, solitude and supremacy of the individual.

The emergency has propelled " social communication and social networks" to find a new role, made of bonds kept alive even if at a distance, a rediscovered purpose of "education and information, a new way of knowing life and a tool for excellence of evangelization".

“The coronavirus - concludes Msgr. Nassar - united the whole world before the fragility of human life and brought us back to the essence of our faith. Should we be thankful for this or continue to be afraid of it? This is a point on which we must reflect and meditate, in the perspective of the Light of salvation that derives from the Risen Christ".

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