FORUM: A Letter From Syria

Archbishop Nassar: Syria has become the land of broken dreams

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This reflection is written by Archbishop Samir NASSAR and provided to ZENIT by Aid to the Church in Need.

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This absurd war has torn apart Syria for five years, forcing so many young Syrians to flee violence, military service, death and chaos …

With the closure of foreign consulates and visas denied, these young people spend their fortune and ruin their families to pursue illegal avenues of emigration—which is very expensive and very dangerous; some drown, others are assaulted along the way.

Often unwelcome in their new ‘homelands’ and ignorant of foreign languages, these young Syrian exiles live isolated lives, tortured by suffering and a silent and bitter hatred. They have lost everything, and are condemned to forced isolation and perdition.

Back home, their Church was not able to do enough for them—their country maimed and unrecognizable through hatred and intolerance.

These Syrian youth—the country’s assets for the future—were left without hope and now they have turned their back on their motherland which is in so much need of them. Their dreams lay broken in the ruins of their beautiful country.

A one-way trip out—what a terrible waste.

Children who remain behind

The tragedy does not stop with the departure of young people; there are the children of Syria who have been waiting for peace for five years—and now they are revolting against a life of misery and abandonment.
Discouraged by the closure of their schools, poverty and the lack of prospects, they sign up with armed groups and prove to be courageous fighters and stone-hearted executioners. They have been turned into fighting machines, trained violence without fear or any particular goals.

Their future and fate worries the Church and troubles the spirits of her pastors.

These are the tragic consequences of a war that is lasting too long. Instead of being shielded from atrocities, these children are immersed in a total, gratuitous violence .
Destroying childhoods sweeps away innocence and kills hope. Life’s most beautiful dream is broken.

How do we restore the pure spirit of these children?

What will the Resurrection be like in a country without young people and children?

Archbishop Samir heads the Maronite Archdiocese of Damascus

Aid to the Church in Need is an international Catholic charity under the guidance of the Holy See, providing assistance to the suffering and persecuted Church in more than 140 countries. (USA); (UK); (AUS); (IRL); (CAN)

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