ASIA/SYRIA - The Maronite Archbishop of Damascus: despite the conflict, we build new churches

Monday, 15 February 2016 evangelization

Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - A "gesture of revolt against death and destruction" is how Archbishop Samir Nassar, leader of the Maronite archdiocese of Damascus, describes the three chapels that the local Maronite community has decided to build in the peripheral neighborhoods of the Syrian capital, hard hit by the armed conflict that has devastated the Country for almost five years. The first of the three places of worship, dedicated to the Martyrs of Damascus in 1860, was inaugurated in recent weeks, while the other two will be completed in the coming months.
In a summary report, sent to Agenzia Fides, Archbishop Nassar describes with emotion the concern expressed by the entire local Maronite community in taking charge of the three projects, representing a concrete "sign of hope and confidence in the future of the Church in Syria" in this "year of mercy and of great suffering".
In his statement, the Maronite Archbishop recalled the figure of deacon Camille, who was killed in March 2013 by shrapnel from a mortar shell while he was near the church. After that event - said Mgr. Nassar - "I said to the priests that they could leave the city if they wanted to, because the diocese had no right to keep them in that condition. They all told me: You remain, and we will remain, too". Since then, those priests who "cling to their mission under the bombs" – remarked the Archbishop - also represent "the winning card and the guarantee of the future of a martyred Christianity that refuses to die". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 15/02/2016)