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Pope Francis

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The Vatican calls for financial support for Christians in the Holy Land

2016-03-24

On Good Friday, all the churches in the world are asked to collect alms to help Christians in the Holy Land. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri wrote to all bishops to participate in this gesture of solidarity with Christians in Jesus' native land. He said "we are indebted to those who remained to give witness to that faith, in spite of the conflicts that have always tortured that Land.” 

CARD. LEONARDO SANDRI
Prefect, Congregation for Eastern Churches
"We do not want a Middle East of dead stones, like a museum, but of living stones where our Christian faith was born, to continue bearing witness to the faith in Jesus Christ, Lord of the world, who has brought peace to men.”

The collection will be delivered to the Franciscans who began in the thirteenth century to take care of the Christian places in the Holy Land. However, they do not only serve churches and shrines, but they also maintain schools, orphanages and homes for needy families.

Much of the aid will go to Syria. The Cardinal dreams that the contribution will help consolidate the shaky truce prevailing in the country.

CARD. LEONARDO SANDRI
Prefect, Congregation for Eastern Churches
"I dream about a Syria rebuilt after the war. Now it is completely destroyed, but with the support of the international community, once again, the Christian presence can live in harmony and peace with the Muslims."

Fr. Jacques Mourad, who was in the hands of ISIS for four months and twenty days, also asked for help. The priest says that Syria is experiencing persecution not only against Christians, but against all people.

FR. JACQUES MOURAD
Priest in Syria
"The war has been a disaster for all Syrians, there are times of darkness and evil, sadness and suffering. We meditate with Christ, who suffers and is crucified and dies for us, to understand that the path of suffering and evil is not the true path. It is not the vocation of human beings."

As of today, the only Latin rite priests left in Syria are 30 Franciscans. Wherever they are, they work to alleviate the suffering of the people, regardless of religion.

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