- Apr 7, 2020
Cardinal Mario Zenari, the nuncio to Syria, said he is raising special prayers these days to Sts. Cosmas and Damian, fourth-century physicians who offered free care for the sick in Syria.
As the global coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, so far claiming over 65,000 lives, aid agencies are increasingly turning their attention to poor and developing nations that are under-equipped to handle a massive outbreak.
Humanitarians caring for displaced Syrians in and outside their country are calling for an end to Syria’s brutal civil war as it enters its 10th year. The magnitude of displacement, death and destruction in Syria marks one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises right now, the United Nations and human rights groups have said.
In a Sunday Angelus message livestreamed by the Vatican rather than delivered in front of a live crowd in St. Peter’s Square as a precaution, Pope Francis expressed his closeness in prayer to those suffering from the epidemic and also renewed his “great apprehension” for unarmed victims of Syria’s civil war.
Turkey and Greece are trading blame following the deaths of Syrian refugees trying to flee to Europe, but some observers believe Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is weaponizing the Syrian refugee humanitarian crisis.
Syrian government forces and Russian warplanes are bombing Idlib province, while tens of thousands of people are sheltering under strips of plastic tenting in the freezing cold and snow.