ASIA/SYRIA - Syrian refugees are "the undesirables", says Maronite Archbishop Nassar

Friday, 15 December 2017

Caritas Australia

Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - Refugees of the Syrian conflict "are crushed between two walls: they cannot go home, because the streets are blocked and their houses are in ruins, on the other hand the world despises them and closes doors. They are the undesirables. As Christmas approaches, these families find themselves in a worrying situation of no escape": this is what Maronite Archbishop Samir Nazssar says, who leads the community in Damascus, recalling in a note sent to Agenzia Fides that the conflict in Syria, which has lasted almost seven years, has created over 12 million refugees, forced to leave their homes.
The Archbishop observes: "These poor people have lost everything and have not found a roof, charitable organizations gather them in camps or buildings where everything is missing. In the face of this suffering some try to flee to other more peaceful places, but often they are sent back".
Mgr. Nassar notes that "many have found death during the journey or have drowned, others have died of illness or even committed suicide" and recalls that "in the past the Syrian people showed great generosity by welcoming the Armenian refugees in 1915, the Assyrian refugees in 1924, the Palestinian refugees in 1948, the Kurds in 1960, the Lebanese in 1975, the Iraqis in 2003. Now the Syrians themselves have become refugees: isolated and saddened, they have become undesirable".
The Archbishop cites "the Pope’s affection towards refugees: the Pope indicates the path of compassion: the Child God challenges our indifference, can we close our eyes once more?", he concludes. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 15/12/2017)