Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 19 April |
Saint of the Day: Pope Saint Leo IX
home iconNews
line break icon

Syria, a country in agony, is “living an anticipated Lenten fast”

SYRIAN CHRISTIANS

Aid to the Church in Need

Maria Lozano - ACN - published on 02/09/20

Owing to the economic crisis, which is a consequence not only of the war but also of the economic embargo imposed on the country by the Western powers, the ordinary people are facing rationing of various basic essentials.

According to Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus, the continuity of the humanitarian aid projects within Syria is in danger, even as the economic situation in the country is growing worse.

“The present crisis, which is different to what we experienced during the days of the war, has compelled the people to live a sort of anticipated Lenten fast. Simply managing to put food on the table has become a daily nightmare.”

So says Archbishop Samir Nassar in a message to the headquarters of the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Owing to the economic crisis, which is a consequence not only of the war but also of the economic embargo imposed on the country by the Western powers, the ordinary people are facing rationing of various basic essentials.

“The shortage of fuel, domestic gas supplies and electricity, has plunged the most vulnerable – the fragile, the sick, children and the elderly – into obscurity coupled with deadly freezing temperatures,” Archbishop Nassar lamented.

For her part Sister Maria Lúcia Ferreira, of the congregation of the Sisters of Unity in Antioch, also confirmed to the Portuguese office of ACN that “things are getting much worse.”

“For example, gas can only be exchanged in return for vouchers, and each family is allowed just one gas bottle per month”, she explains, adding that the situation is so serious for some families that they can “scarcely afford to buy food,” while “those who arrive late come away empty-handed…”.

In the same way, she explains, “there is a shortage of fuel for heating the houses; the electricity supply cuts out almost every day and people’s money is worth less and less each month.”

According to Sister Maria, one of the reasons for the current situation is the crisis in neighboring Lebanon, since much of the funding that used to come via Lebanon is now impossible to get.

It is an assessment with which Archbishop Nassar concurs. He insists that the banking crisis in the neighboring country is imposing grave obstacles on the humanitarian aid supplied for Syria by other countries in the world.

What the Archbishop describes as the “road of Simon of Cyrene” – in other words of solidarity with those who are carrying the cross – has been “blocked without compassion,” resulting in an overall worsening of conditions everywhere.

Among other things, the crisis in Lebanon has resulted in the freezing of the accounts of the Syrian people, including both the company accounts and private accounts, from which formerly what Archbishop Nassar describes as the “movements of charity” originated.

According to the Archbishop, the present situation has also made things harder for the Church, which is now nothing more than “a Wall of Lamentation where one comes to weep, to cry for help, and look without ostentation and silently, for some consolation, to live out the passion of Christ before Holy Week.”

This article was first published by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) an is republished here with kind permission. To learn more about ACN and to help them in their mission to aid persecuted Christians visit www.churchinneed.org

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
2
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
3
MASS
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
4
COUPLE
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
5
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
6
OSORNO
Brett Salkeld
How to vaccinate like a Catholic
7
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.