Msgr. Audo, bishop of Aleppo, asks that Syria is not destroyed because it is an example of coexistence.
The world no longer remembers what Syria was like in times of peace. There is no consensus on the number of victims from a war that seems to have no end. Nor is attention being paid to the more than five million people who have been forced to leave the country.
“We do not want money, we want peace. This is our drama. Yes we feel the support and, above all, the position of the Holy Father, who speaks about the much loved Syria, of peace, of the trafficking of arms and of a world war in a very brave manner.”
Monsignor Antoine Audo is the bishop of Aleppo, the city that for four years has been divided in two and has been the scene of intense fighting.
Despite all, the bishop has remained there suffering side by side with the population. It is a job that the pope praised a few months ago during this meeting in Sweden for the 500 years of the Protestant Reformation.
“It is admirable too, that you, dear brother Antoine, continue working amid such danger in order to tell us of the tragic situation of the Syrian people.”
When it seems that peace is on the horizon in Syria, the black clouds once again obscure any ray of hope. The years of civil war undermine the spirit of everyone, even Syrian Christians.
“There are two attitudes. Some say, ‘Where is God? Where is justice? For how long will you keep silent?’ It is really a very biblical attitude of faith about suffering. There is also the attitude of the elders who say, ‘Finally God will save us.'”
The bishop asks for Syria not to be destroyed, because it has been and still is an example of coexistence between Christians and Muslims, even with the presence of the Daesh jihadists.
“These extremist armed groups are used to destroy Syria. They are interested in making Christians leave because Christians are an element of stability and unity.”
The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo is also President of Caritas Syria. He visited Rome to thank the humanitarian efforts that, while many, are still not enough compared to the need in a country destroyed by almost seven years of war.