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Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences to Manchester after attack

May 23, 2017. After the deadly terrorist attack at Victoria Station in Manchester, England, the pope has sent his condolences to the victims and their families.

Campaign launched to open the city of Aleppo in war-torn Syria

2014-07-17

Syria's civil war started over three years ago. So far, it has claimed the lives of more than 170,000 people and millions more have been displaced. 

In light of the dire situation, Andrea Riccardi, the founder of Catholic Association-the Community of St. Egidio, is calling for both a humanitarian and political solution. He's calling for a higher international response in the city of Aleppo, where aid is often blocked and where residents are threatened if they try to leave.  Before the war, about 300,000 Christians lived there. Some have risked it all to try and flee, but many more still lived there, literally trapped in a war. 

CESARE ZUCCONI 
Community of Sant'Egidio 
 "Aleppo had the third highest Christian population in the region after Cairo and Beirut. Christians now face a very troubling situation because it's impossible for them to leave the city.” 

For centuries, Aleppo boasted the co-existence of over 19 religions. The community of St. Egidio wants to ensure that that inter-religious presence remains, despite the war. They even argue, the city of Aleppo can be the city that puts an end to the violent conflict. 

CESARE ZUCCONI 
Community of Sant'Egidio 
"If we do something in Aleppo, it can send a strong message. It could show that it is possible to break the cycle, despite the feeling of helplessness. If this happens it will send a strong message to the international community.” 

But that kind of dramatic change will not only take time. It will also need a UN resolution, international collaboration and above all the involvement of the Syrian government. Even though the war is still raging on, steps have been taken to help civilians. 

CESARE ZUCCONI 
Community of Sant'Egidio 
"We must recognize that something is changing. The international committee of the Red Cross managed to visit the city for a short time period. A few days ago, there was a UN resolution that allows humanitarian organizations to go into Aleppo and into other areas where people need help, to provide food and medicines.”

Many people have joined in to show support for this initiative, including two Nobel laureates and several Italian politicians. They've also launched a campaign online, to show that despite the fact that this is happening in Syria, it affects everyone. 

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