Syria Archives - Crux



  • Envoy says everyone suffers in Syria, but Christians are ‘weakest link’

    Envoy says everyone suffers in Syria, but Christians are ‘weakest link’

    Syria once had relatively good relations between Christians and Muslims, but the civil war means that will be harder to achieve in the future, according to Italian Cardinal Mario Zenari, the pope’s ambassador in Syria. “For Muslims, it is a long way from separating religion from the state and reaching the concept of citizenship. Syria was ahead of it, it had a secular tendency,” he said.

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  • Chilean cardinal offers warm welcome to Syrian refugees

    Chilean cardinal offers warm welcome to Syrian refugees

    In the coming days, newly-arrived Syrian refugees in Chile will begin Spanish classes and will be introduced to the culture, the workplace and educational environments, and other aspects of life in the South American country so they can assimilate and restart their lives far from the humanitarian crisis caused by the war.

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  • Despair, joy, defiance, and resignation all abound in unique Lebanon

    Despair, joy, defiance, and resignation all abound in unique Lebanon

    In many ways, Lebanon is unique in the Middle East. Christians are a robust 35 to 40 percent of the population, and the country has long had a tradition of power-sharing to make co-existence possible. The country is also, however, surrounded by chaos, and right now the strain of a very large refugee population is pushing both the government and the Church’s resources to the breaking point, which could unleash consequences no one can foresee.

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  • Refugees say life is hard, but without the Church it would be impossible

    Refugees say life is hard, but without the Church it would be impossible

    Talking to Syrian Christian refugees in Lebanon, it’s obvious that life is hardly a walk in the park. However, to a person they also say that it would be infinitely worse without the assistance of the local Church. The Greek Melkite Archdiocese of Zahle, for instance, is spending roughly $2 million per year to provide housing, food, medication, schooling, and other basic necessities, as Lebanon copes with the world’s largest per capita refugee crisis.

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  • Lebanese Church pioneers integration amid mounting native/refugee divide

    Lebanese Church pioneers integration amid mounting native/refugee divide

    Faced with a stunning influx of 1.5 million Syrian refugees in a country whose population was only a little over four million to begin with, Lebanon is struggling to avoid fracturing along native/refugee lines. In the campaign to promote integration between the two groups, few social forces are as active as the Catholic Church, as both a school and a free meal service in the city of Zahle illustrate.

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  • Meeting Middle East Christians is where Western stereotypes go to die

    Meeting Middle East Christians is where Western stereotypes go to die

    Many Westerners express sympathy for Christian victims of the genocide conducted by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, but might find actually listening to them a surprise. They’ll challenge Western stereotypes on at least three fronts: Syria’s Assad is a bad actor and must go; Hezbollah is part of Jihadism Inc. and a threat to Christians; and today’s most profound refugee crisis is in Europe.

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