Via Deacon Greg Kandra comes
this story of a tiny community of Trappist nuns living in civil war-torn
Syria. Despite the danger and mounting tensions in the region, the five nuns
are determined to stay in their monastery, which was founded in 2005.
interview conducted with one of the nuns, who is Italian, for an Italian
So you deliberately chose to live in a place where Christians are in
Exactly. Here the population is
mostly Shiite Muslim, but there are also Sunnis and Alawites; geographically we
are at a crossroads. How do you try to establish a dialogue? In the manner of
our order, by founding a monastery, living the Trappist life and building
relationships of friendship with the people we come in contact with and among
whom we live. And how does the local population see this “mission”? In fact,
the bulk of the problems have arisen recently. Up until two years ago, for
centuries the citizens of different religions were accustomed to live in peace,
in friendship, closeness and cooperation, without worrying too much whether one
was Muslim or Christian, and so on.
The area you live in is still fairly quiet, but if things fall apart,
what will you do?
We are simply here, open and
available, according to our Rule. We will have to see what happens; in the
present state of things one cannot make predictions, but it is our intent to
stay close to the population, and they are grateful for the fact that we have
the full interview.
News Agency reports
that the case of two
bishops kidnapped in Syria
in late April is growing direr with each passing
day, as one of the bishops, Mar Gregorios
Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church, may face life-threatening illness
without his blood-pressure and diabetes medication. The two were kidnapped nine
days ago in the Syrian province of Aleppo.