In Syria there is no place for the usual consumerist frenzy, so the lights of the Christmas tree and the Christmas crib have once more become a sign of salvation. Aid to the Church in Need charity, which works with people in Syria, stated that many families there are in makeshift shelters, just like the Holy Family in Bethlehem.
In his traditional Christmas day Urbi et Orbi message, the Pontiff prayed that Syrians might “find fraternity after long years of war” and that Yemen’s recent truce would bring relief to its people and children “exhausted by war and famine”.
“The lessons we have learned in the European Union during the 2015 migration crisis should serve to remind us of the need to address migration in a cooperative and comprehensive manner. ”
“The Kurdish officials had assured us that they would not even look at the private [Catholic] schools, but they not only looked at them, they closed them.”
"This latest move is further evidence of the disregard the US administration has for the lives of vulnerable people." – Éamonn Meehan
"Our job is primarily to support the Church in those places where it does not have the material resources to carry out its pastoral activities or where Christians are suffering from oppression, persecution and violence.”
Exploring global justice through art forms such as poetry, performance, music and painting, is a fun and creative way to engage young people in complex issues.
Families are trying to stay alive in dark, ill-equipped shelters in Eastern Ghouta. The shelters are not supplied with enough water or food, and children have not seen sunshine for weeks.
A seven-year-old in Syria has never known peace; a seven-year-old in Gaza has survived two separate wars; a seven-year-old in South Sudan has experienced both famine and civil war in their short life.
“May beloved Syria at last recover respect for the dignity of every person through a shared commitment to rebuild the fabric of society, without regard for ethnic and religious membership.”
“When I was there last year I met this family where the nine-year-old son, who has four sisters and a mother, is the man of the house because the husband got killed in the war.”
The report states that every single day Christians suffer persecution for their faith – many of them are left with no choice but to flee for their lives.
“2016 saw the scale of humanitarian need in the world reach record levels with over 130 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Ireland is committed to providing humanitarian assistance to ease the plight of civilians caught up in conflicts and natural disasters,” - Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, T.D.
Many of these children have escaped war and conflict only to end up in camps many of them call ‘hell’, where they say they are made to feel more like animals than humans.
“We believe that by helping to resettle the most vulnerable, we are living out our Christian faith and ‘welcoming the stranger’ as Jesus has challenged us to do.”
Trócaire's work would not be possible without the generosity of parishioners, students, teachers, clergy, volunteers and supporters who believe passionately in remembering those less well off than themselves – Trócaire’s Kevin Donnelly.
It is “unbelievable that these persecuted Christians who come from the cradle of Christianity are being told there is no room at the inn, when the UK is offering a welcome to Islamists who persecute Christians.”
Syrian peace delegation visits Ireland as UN says it is “extremely concerned” about the estimated 275,000 civilians trapped in “horrific conditions” in Aleppo.
Two Syrian surgeons will explain how Irish and EU sanctions have caused Syria’s hospitals to degenerate to a pitiable state where scores of women and children die every day due to the lack of commonplace medicines.
“I encourage the faithful to share the ideals of the Caritas International #PeacePossible4Syria campaign and to pray for peace in the Middle East, especially in Syria and the city of Aleppo” – Bishop Crean.
Papal appeal for peace in Syria as military announces “concentrated air strikes” in Aleppo and nearby areas, targeting insurgent-held areas in the surrounding countryside.
In many cases people are relying on charity for their food, and the Church has stepped in to help feed those left in Aleppo - regardless of their religion.