Rome, Italy, Jul 18, 2019 / 12:23 am (CNA).- The pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need has launched a new fundraising campaign to aid Syrian Christians, whose lives continue to be devastated by violence and poverty.
“The war in Syria has still not ended, terrorism has yet to be defeated and our brothers have more need of our aid than ever,” said Alessandro Monteduro, the director of Aid to the Church in Need in Italy.
Much of the region is still reeling from the destruction left behind by the Islamic State, while the ongoing Syrian civil war – now in its ninth year – continues to bring fresh devastation.
The city of Aleppo, once the most populous city Syria and its main economic and industrial center, was reduced to ruins during a bloody siege from 2012 to 2016.
The number of Christians in Aleppo has fallen dramatically, from 180,000 before the civil war to 32,000 in early 2019.
Facing high inflation, corruption, and a sluggish economy, the people of the city are struggling to rebuild.
In addition, the violence has not been completely eradicated from the city. Local priest Fr. Ibrahim Alsabagh, told TV 2000 this week that on the previous day, “several missiles fell in different parts of the city of Aleppo and this has many people quite worried again.”
Aid to the Church in Need will focus one of its new projects on obtaining food to distribute to the poorest Christian families in Aleppo, as well as access to cooking gas and fuel for electrical generators.
The second project will be carried out in Damascus, focusing on purchasing medicine, much of it very expensive, for sick Christians. This project is a personal request of the Greek Melkite Patriarch Youssef Absu, who indicated that without this aid, many sick Christians will be left without help.
Since the beginning of the civil war in 2011 until 2018, Aid to the Church in Need has donated around 30.4 million euros ($34.12 million) to the local Churches in Syria. Among other initiatives, this money has helped begin the process of reconstruction of homes and churches for Christians families in areas that are more stable.
This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
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