CNEWA

Letter From Syria: ?Is Syria a Forgotten Land??

This week, CNEWA’s president, Msgr. John E. Kozar, received a letter from a longtime friend and partner in the Middle East, Samir Nassar, the Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, Syria.

The note featured this image of a praying St. John Paul II:

Inside was this message:

Archbishop Nassar also included a letter with this poignant plea:

IS SYRIA A FORGOTTEN LAND?

It is often said that the Syrian war is the worst and most cruel seen by the world since the Second World War.

The fact that seemingly much of the violence has died down has made us wonder if Syria is remembered at all by most of the world?what a chaotic scene:

600,000 dead with only some buried in dignity and many others in collective graves. All this has meant that many families live in perpetual sorrow and emotional instability.

200,000 have disappeared, including two bishops and four priests; this has made life a nightmare for those who grieve for their loved ones — parents, friends and the churches who have no news of them.

13,000,000 refugees — a very heavy burden as a consequence of this world war game on the Syrian territory?whole populations who suffer in silence and despair. Bitterness and a loss of meaning to life?a broken people, scattered and searching for a future.

95,000 hands cut off, feet amputated or paralyzed in a country which is ill-prepared to handle these sorts of problems alone, and the subsequent psychological and health consequences.

2,500,000 dwellings demolished or destroyed.

Local currency is valueless and inflation has risen alarmingly; the exodus of the young has marked the remaining hopes for future growth.

Faced with these scenes of desolation in the church in Syria, I cannot fall into the role of a mere spectator. The church is a strong witness of the Spirit and the Light which it brings. She is a sign of the Presence and a witness in the domain of health care, education, pastoral work with the young, family support, accompanying fragile families and supporting in every way the less fortunate. All of this is done in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation.

If the world has forgotten Syria, the Lord is watching over her and will not let the boat flounder!

+Samir Nassar

He added a personal handwritten note, too:

Thank you, dear Msgr. Kozar, for the mission of CNEWA in Syria. Our problems are too heavy. Please pray for us. We prepare for Christmas with a heavy Calvary. God bless you for all that you did and do.

Please do not let Syria become a “forgotten land.” Their needs are great. Remember them in your prayers.

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