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Bishop: Aleppo reduced to abject poverty, becoming ‘much more dangerous’

Catholic World News - August 13, 2013

A Chaldean Catholic bishop told La Stampa’s Vatican Insider that Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, is becoming more dangerous and has been reduced to abject poverty.

“Now it is much more dangerous to leave Aleppo,” said Bishop Antoine Audo, SJ. “Everybody tells me and the other bishops to move around discreetly without wearing bishops’ clothing in order to avoid being kidnapped.”

“At least half a million people have fled their homes,” he continued. “Some areas have been deserted entirely. 80% of the population have not worked for months on end. Many no longer have money even to put food on the table. Abject poverty is everywhere, even in the air, in a city which once boasted flourishing dynamism.”

“Fatalism is growing among many” churchgoers, he added. “They say anything could happen, that whatever happens will be God’s will. That’s what people say to keep themselves going. Others try to react, and the most immediate and realistic reaction is to flee, as people have been doing for some time. Whoever still has money and transport flees to Lebanon, the Gulf countries, or Europe. All the poor people stay here.”

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