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Muted Holy Week celebrations in Syria

Catholic World News - April 20, 2011

Amid civil unrest, Syrian Orthodox officials restricted Palm Sunday celebrations to churches, canceling traditional outdoor bonfires in which palms are burned in preparation for the following year’s Ash Wednesday. Church officials have also announced they are canceling a traditional Good Friday procession in Aleppo.

“Of course we are all sad to have to limit our celebrations,” said Archbishop Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, “but we hope that this will not last long. We consulted the government, but this was our decision. Nobody imposed it upon us. We are worried and adapting our celebrations shows that we feel whatever happens today also affects us.”

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