Pope Francis today told charity organizations working in the Middle East and bishops from local Churches there to keep advocating for the victims of the crises in Syria and Iraq, even when they are no longer in the headlines.

The Pope said this today when he addressed a conference being hosted by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which gathered representatives of charities working in the area, Church leaders and other organizations to coordinate efforts and build synergy.

The Holy Father spoke of the crisis in the region as “one of the most overwhelming human tragedies of recent decades.”

“Millions of people are in distressing state of urgent need,” he said, and decried that “the international community seems unable to find adequate solutions while the arms dealers continue to achieve their interests.”

And today, he observed, “unlike in the past, atrocities and unspeakable human rights violations, which characterize these conflicts, are transmitted live by the media. Therefore, they captured the attention of the whole world. No one can pretend not to know!”

The Pontiff recognized that there are many victims in the conflict, but said he “cannot fail to mention the serious harm to the Christian communities in Syria and Iraq, where many brothers and sisters are oppressed because of their faith, driven from their land, kept in prison or even killed.”

The evil, he said, is destroying buildings and infrastructures, “but especially the conscience of man.”

The Church “feels called to respond to evil with good by promoting an integral human development of ‘each man and of the whole man,’” he said.

The Holy Father entrusted them with bringing the victims his own message of solidarity and closeness, and the promise of his prayers.

“[C]ontinue on the path of cooperation and sharing, and working together and in synergy,” Pope Francis said. “Please: do not abandon the victims of this crisis, even if the world’s attention were to lessen.”


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-cor-unum-conference-on-crisis-in-syria-iraq

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