Catholic World News

Jerusalem prelate: ‘Syria and Iraq are destroyed’

December 20, 2016

“Syria and Iraq are destroyed,” and Christians in the Holy Land suffer from “growing extremism and fundamentalism” among followers of other religions, the apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said on December 19.

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa said at a press conference that “the situation of Christians in Syria, Iraq and Egypt is a complete tragedy … These terrible wars are blindly driven by arms trade, by the game of interests of powers, by relentless fundamentalism.”

“In our dioceses in Jordan, we welcomed thousands of refugees, Christians, who chose to be loyal to their faith, and also Muslims, all running for their lives,” he continued. “Their anguish, their thirst for peace, should be made ours.”

In Israel, he added, “what strikes us is that this fundamentalism is rooted in the young generation. We have deplored several acts of vandalism against Christians, cemeteries or churches, during the year.

”The prelate concluded:

I would like to underline how, in spite of all, we have hope … And Christmas is actually the time to renew our faith in the God of surprises as we go to Bethlehem to venerate an apparently powerless God: the Child Jesus. In our prayers, we are and we will continually carry this wounded world.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Dec. 21, 2016 10:51 AM ET USA

    "Syria and Iraq are destroyed." If this was not underlying the goal of the "Arab spring," I don't know what is. Libya, Syria, Iraq, and almost Egypt, all annihilated by one man's professed vision to pay back the European nations for their 16th through early 20th-century colonialism. Along with modern European leftist leaders, the U.S. led the way in the destruction of the legitimate governments in these countries. The motive was vengeance, hatred, and a calculated disdain for peace in the region