Article from the Vatican’s Pontifical Missions news service, Fides.
Hassaké (Agenzia Fides ) - "It is easy to pave the way for air strikes on Syria, but it is difficult to end the war and the consequences of these attacks throughout the Middle East": is the comment, entrusted to Fides Agency by Eustathius Matta Roham, Syro-Orthodox Metropolitan Archbishop of "Jazirah and Euphrates", worried and saddened by the situation that the country is experiencing . "Everywhere, in Syria and outside Syria , the faithful are praying to ward off an attack by foreign countries against Syria and in order to build peace in the whole region. We all pray that our Lord Jesus Christ enlightens the minds of the people in power, so that they act according to justice and peace, for the sake of human beings".
The Archbishop informs Fides Agency on the situation in the governorate of Hassake, in eastern Syria, bordering Turkey and Iraq. "Flights at the civil airport of Kamichly, as well as in all other Syrian airports are blocked. Even ground transportation from Kamichly to all other Syrian cities and to Lebanon are blocked. The population, already suffering for the conflict, fears a worsening of the situation", with further consequences of hunger and misery.
Another Syrian Catholic Bishop, who requested anonymity, explains to Fides Agency: "Today it is impossible to imagine the future of this country, once a peaceful land and home for all refugees of the Middle East. The most dramatic thing has been the absence of any form of dialogue in the last three years, while anguish and despair inhabit these people".
"This conflict - continues the Bishop - has turned Syria into a battlefield, destroying the world of work, the innocence of childhood, the peace of families, as well as infrastructure, schools, places of worship, houses and hospitals". "It is a cruel tragedy - he concludes - a small nation carries such a heavy cross, in silence". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 30/08/2013). Original article here.
Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim, archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch for the Eastern United States, says he opposes to violence, whether by the Syrian regime or the opposition, but doesn't believe the solution is a U.S. strike against the country. Interview on New Yersy Today.
Update: 05/09/2013, Hala Gorani from CNN speaks with Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim of the Syrian Orthodox Church who says escalation won't solve the Syrian crisis. View here.
On Monday evening, 26/08/2013 the headquarters of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East in the predominantly Christian district of at Bab Touma (Thomas Gate), Damascus, was partially damaged due to a mortar shell attack by rebels.
“In just 6 days we have rained on our heads more than 20 mortar shells. Some erupted between the houses, on the roofs of other churches, one in a girls' school run by the Catholic Church. It is now clear, this neighbourhood inhabited by Christians is a goal.” Witness testimony from a resident in Bab Touma can be read in Italian here.
Thousands of innocent civilians and displaced families, including women, old people, children, have taken refuge in the city of Kamishly and Hassaké (eastern Syria), who must absolutely be "preserved and saved by the conflict, in order to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe." Read the rest of the appeal here.
In the Kurdish majority region of N.E. Syria in the city of Qamishli on Wednesday 21 November 2012 after 3 days of
fasting the community gathered at the Syriac Orthodox Church of Our Lady praying for peace and security in Syria. Since this time the area has
been seriously affected by the conflict in Syria, opposition forces refused to recognise the desire of the community to remain as a neutral zone for their own safety and that of the tens of
thousands who had fled in to the area seeking a safe haven.
In the Kurdish majority region of N.E. Syria in the city Hasakah on Wednesday 5 of December 2012 all segments of society, Christian denominations and the Kurdish parties and Arab tribes gathered to pray with one voice for peace in Syria and in the area in general. Opposition forces refused to recognise the desire of the community to remain as a neutral zone for their own safety and that of the tens of thousands who had fled in to the area seeking a safe haven within that region.
Article from the Japan Times here
Article from France 24 here