Syrian Christians still suffering, emigrating, nuncio reports

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The Christian population of Syria continues to experience “general and broad suffering,” the apostolic nuncio in that country told the AsiaNews service.
Cardinal Mario Zenari reported that while violence has tapered somewhat in the area around Damascus, heavy fighting continues in other parts of the country. “What is clear,” he said, “is that Syria has suffered for years from a proxy war between major regional and global interests.”

Cardinal Zenari acknowledged that “statistics are always difficult to evaluate,” but the best available figures show that “almost half” of Syria’s Christians have left the country. He said that in Aleppo, where the statistics are comparatively reliable, as many as two-thirds of the Christian families have fled. There are “more than 5 million refugees” from Syria today, he said, of whom 1 million have headed for Europe.

The cardinal said that the world’s Christians should provide their Syrian brethren with “double aid”—material help and the support of their prayers.