- May 30, 2020
Christians concerned with religious freedom violations resulting from the Turkish military offensive on northeastern Syria are urging U.S. President Donald Trump to “reconsider and reverse” his Oct. 6 decision to move American troops out of the way of a Turkish incursion.
Amid the hardships being experienced by Syrian refugees in Lebanon today, 32-year-old Sana Samia of the Greek Melkite Archdiocese of Zahlé is a small miracle.
Moving around the Catholic world, it’s often striking how the culture wars in the Church over matters such as liturgy and “Amoris Laetitia” are products of affluent and basically stable societies, while places with real wars to worry about have more existential concerns. A visit to a Catholic hospital in Lebanon confirmed the point, where the CEO found questions about its Catholic identity almost impossible to fathom.
Tens of thousands of Christian refugees in Lebanon, having fled an ISIS genocide, are often slightly better off than Muslim refugees due to assistance from the local church and global Catholic groups such as Aid to the Church in Need, but they still report harsh living conditions, mounting discrimination related to anti-refugee resentments, and a strong desire for something else — going home, settling here, or moving on.
Critics saw Archbishop Hilarion Capucci as the leading symbol of a tendency among some Middle Eastern bishops to be uncritically pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli, and occasionally anti-American, but others hailed him as a “lion of a man” and a prophet for justice.