The Syriac Catholic patriarch, following six-day pastoral visit, decries ‘painful’ situation on the ground: ‘Our very survival in our homeland is really at stake.’
The Syriac Catholic patriarch, following a six-day pastoral visit to northeastern Syria, said he witnessed “a most painful situation in which the lack of water and electricity and the devaluation of the national currency creates living conditions that are truly unbearable.”
From the patriarchate in Beirut, Lebanon, Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan visited the Syriac Catholic Archdiocese of Hassakeh and Nisibin in early December.
“It was a visit full of sadness, distress as well as of challenges of hope, for a community whose ‘Way of the Cross’ has continued for 12 years,” Patriarch Younan told the Register.
Due to the currency devaluation, the average family barely has a monthly income of $30, he said.
“But the most painful finding was the absence of young people in parishes and pastoral centers, which were the places most frequented by young people,” the Syriac Catholic patriarch said of the massive emigration of youth.
“The horrors of war and lack of work have created a horrific vacuum of young people. For our already very small Christian communities, this poses a most dangerous challenge for our survival in the native land for millennia,” he said.‘Beloved Syria Is Suffering’| National Catholic Register