syria

Lebanese cardinal warns against ‘new drums of war’ in Syria

A Syrian firefighter used a fire hose inside the destroyed Scientific Research Center April 14 in Damascus. The United States, France and Britain launched airstrikes in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for an apparent chemical attack against civilians and to deter him from doing it again.

BEIRUT — Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai appealed to world leaders to stop the war in Syria and to work for comprehensive peace through diplomatic means.

"As the great powers are beating the drums of a new war against Syria, we regret the absence of a language of peace from the mouths of senior officials in our world today," said Cardinal Rai, patriarch of Maronite Catholics, in an address April 12 directed to the international community.

Pope denounces use of chemical weapons after attack in Syria

A wounded Syrian woman received aid April 7 at a hospital in Damascus after a suspected chemical-weapon attack in Douma. Pope Francis condemned the use of chemical weapons after the attack killed dozens of men, women and children.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis condemned the use of chemical weapons after an attack killed dozens of innocent men, women and children in Syria.

"There is no good and bad war, and nothing, nothing can justify the use of such instruments of extermination against defenseless people and populations," the pope said April 8 before concluding Divine Mercy Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square.

Christian activists warn of slaughter of Syrian civilians in Afrin

Internally displaced people rode on the back of a truck with their belongings in Afrin, Syria. Christian activists warn that 1 million Syrian civilians will face certain slaughter in northwestern Afrin, where they allege Turkey and its militant allies have already carried out “war crimes” and “ethnic cleansing.”

AMMAN, Jordan — Christian activists warn that 1 million Syrian civilians will face certain slaughter in northwestern Afrin, where they allege Turkey and its militant allies have already carried out "war crimes" and "ethnic cleansing."

They have appealed to U.S. President Donald Trump and top U.S. officials to stop the bloodshed, warning that failure to act jeopardizes the hard-fought U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State in Syria.

Pope appeals for end to inhumane fighting, evil of war in Syria

A rescue worker carried an injured girl amid destroyed buildings Feb. 21 in rebel-held eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, Syria.

VATICAN CITY — Calling the war in Syria "inhumane," Pope Francis called for an end to the fighting, immediate access to humanitarian aid and the evacuation of the injured and infirm.

"My thoughts often turn to that beloved and martyred Syria where the war has intensified, especially in eastern Ghouta," he said Feb. 25 after praying the Angelus with people gathered in St. Peter Square.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Make room for kindness, not hopeless ‘mafia’ mentality

Pope Francis embraced a girl at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 5. Before concluding his audience, the pope said he was horrified by a chemical attack in Syria the previous day that left 70 people dead.

VATICAN CITY — Hope can't remain hidden within, but must break free to overcome vengeful, mafia-like mentalities with mercy and humility, Pope Francis said.

Christians must give witness to hope through their lives as Jesus did and make room for Him in their hearts to fight evil by doing good to others, even their enemies, the pope said at his weekly general audience April 5.

After years in war zone, burnout rises among those who serve Syrians

Ramzi Abou Zeid, regional coordinator for Caritas Lebanon, checked on the distribution of winter clothes for 16 Syrian refugee families Jan. 4 in Zahle, Lebanon. In all, 150 refugee families who live in Zahle are being assisted by the coordinated distribution.

TORONTO — Humanitarian aid workers in Syria and Lebanon are exhausted, said Helene Tremblay-Boyko, who recently traveled to the region.

It isn't the exhaustion a person feels at the end of a long day, she said. This exhaustion comes from working in the same desperate conditions as the people they serve.

"We do not know here (in Canada) what is going on there," said Tremblay-Boyko, vice president of the Development and Peace national council. "They need peace. They need to be able to start rebuilding their lives. We need to do everything we can to enable a peace accord."

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