December 2013

Alarming news from Syria. The Custos, Father Pizzaballa: “We are coming to the aid of everyone, even those who have lost hope”

Jihadists from the Al-Nusra Front and Salafists last night occupied the Christian village of Kanye forcing the population to obey Sharia law and women to wear the Islamic veil under the immediate threat of being shot.

A resident transmitted the alarming news through the Archbishop Emeritus of Aleppo, monsignor Giuseppe Nazzaro, who stated that “We are fearful that the population will be forced to flee in mass or be converted to Islam if they wish to avoid being massacred”. In the north of the country, which has escaped the control of government forces, the more secular element of the opposition to the regime of Bashar al-Assad has become weakened, in favor of extremist elements. A number of eyewitness testimonies confirm that the most radical groups have taken over complete control of the territory and are governing it as an “emirate”, forcing everyone to obey Sharia.

The situation is particularly dangerous for the Christian minority. Those who violate its rules risk suffering the penalties dictated by the most rigid Islamic religious law. The objective seems clear: to induce the Christian population to leave. Despite this, the Franciscan friars continue to remain there in order to, as the Custos has recently said, “come to the aid of those who have lost everything, even hope”.

We have raised a substantial amount over the past two and a half years of conflict, thanks to the generosity of so many people, but unfortunately it is not enough. Your aid can make a real difference for the Syrian population.

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