Pope Prays For Christians in Syria During Spiritual Exercises

Concerned Following Capture of Christians by Islamic State

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During the Spiritual Exercises at Ariccia, Pope Francis is praying intensely for Syria, in particular, for Christians in the country,» Archbishop Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio at Damascus, said. In an interview on Vatican Radio said that the Holy Father “is continually informed and his prayer always accompanies the suffering of the people and of Christians in particular.”

According to the Nuncio, «Christians are the weakest link of the chain” in the Syrian conflict, where fear reigns, used by the jihadists to hold in check the majority of the population, regardless of religious affiliation.

Christians in Syria feel abandoned by the international community, in as much as they “do not see tangible results”: this makes their complaint understandable, stressed Archbishop Zenari, noting however that “some measures have been adopted, such as that of cutting the supplies that arrive for these people, bank accounts, petrol, and stopping those who have been taken in by this ideology and, perhaps, come to these areas from Europe.”

Therefore, it will be necessary “to continue on this path, with the united efforts and measures of the international community,” to “put a stop to this situation.”

The war in Syria is “one of the gravest humanitarian disasters since World War II. Hence, it is urgent “to resolve the situation of civil conflict but, at the same time, also to stop the advance of this Caliphate,” added The Apostolic Nuncio said.

In three weeks, Syria will enter the fifth year of its civil war, which has left “more than 200,000 dead, over one million wounded, more than 7 million displaced internally and 4 million refugees,” not counting “the damages and deaths that happen every day, the displaced and refugees caused by the civil war,” said the prelate.

Added to this front are the “areas under the control of the Caliphate,” stained daily by “atrocious and terrible” events, two fronts “one worse than the other,” concluded Archbishop Zenari. 

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