ASIA/SYRIA – Chaldean Bishop Audo: Aleppo is starving

Aleppo – “One lives day by day. I have the impression that people are more and more exhausted. They have all become poor and everyone is always looking for something to eat for himself and his family. In the streets of Aleppo you can see the people that run endlessly with bags in their hand, trying to find a bit of bread … ” This is the statement sent to Fides Agency by the Chaldean bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo SJ, President of Caritas Syria, outlining a vivid image of the daily condition experienced by a city that was among the most prosperous and dynamic in the Middle East, and which now appears hopelessly scarred by the civil war.The lastest emergency that closely involves the Churches in Aleppo is that of hundreds of Christian families forced to flee from the neighborhood of Cheikh Maksoud, conquered in the last days by the anti-Assad militias. “On Thursday afternoon,” said Mgr. Audo “there will be a Mass for the displaced Christians from Cheikh Maksoud, with the priests and bishops who will be able to come. After there will be a distribution of aid for refugees organized by Caritas Syria.” The Chaldean Bishop describes an explosive situation, with most roads that have become off limits, “Yesterday” Mgr. Audo said to Fides “I went to the hospital to visit a person, and I spent several hours to get back home because many roads were closed to traffic. I also learned that many doctors were threatened and forced to flee. The fate of the two priests Michel Kayyal – Armenian Catholic – and Maher Mahfouz – Greek Orthodox – kidnapped two months ago by a group of armed people on the road that leads from Aleppo to Damascus remains unknown.””The anarchy of the war – confides to Fides the Chaldean bishop – allows you to perceive in even stronger terms the greatness of human dignity, just when it seems so humiliated. In all this, many seek God and ask Him for peace of heart, in prayer.” .