Syria: Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter in tears

Syria: Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter in tears | Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, Mar Gregorios Yohannna Ibrahim, Boulos al-Yazigi, Syria, Orthodox Easter

Bishop Antoine Audo

The Orthodox Churches in Syria celebrated Easter on Sunday – but the Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo said: ” while they sang ‘Christ is risen’, and while repeating those words of joy and victory – all their prayers mingled with their tears. ”

Not only is the Christian community suffering grave shortages of food and medical supplies, and violence of the civil war, but they are also desperately concerned about the safely of their priests and bishops who have been kidnapped. Two priests were kidnapped three months now, and two weeks have passed since another priest was shot and killed when Mar Gregorios Yohannna Ibrahim and Boulos al-Yazigi, the Syrian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox bishops of Aleppo were abducted.

Mr Audo said: “Everyone is talking about them. Everyone is wondering what will become of the bishops and priests. The time that goes by is not a good sign.”

The daily struggle for survival, the consequences of the Israeli air raids and the threat epidemic developing is making life very difficult, he said. “We are often with no electricity, no water, it is hard to watch TV or find the time to be informed. As president of Caritas I spend all the time receiving people who are looking for help. And I also had to cancel every transfer from Aleppo, because every movement has become dangerous.”