''There is pain all over, every day people are weakening within themselves', a doctor describes Syrian refugee campus.
People are losing their family members every day, they see them die in front of their eyes. Children cry over their siblings' dead bodies, mothers are dying leaving their 2-3year old behind. There is trauma and depression taking over people's lives. Among others a young man recently tried to suffocate himself at seeing his sister die in Aleppo air strikes.
'I have no words to describe the suffering I see on daily basis', says Fr. Ibrahim Alsabagh, priest from Aleppo, northern Syria. Fr. Ibrahim has seen rockets falling on churches, mosques, schools and now hospitals and residential area. In April 2016, al-Quds hospital, supported by both Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross was attacked, disrupting the presence of few doctors for a population of thousands of people.
The city is bleeding, yet no service is available to people who need it the most!
Both the rebel and governmental Assad-regime realise the commercial and historic importance of Aleppo city and hence are unlikely to surrender. Although the battle for the city had begun since 2012, the fight had never been this intense before according to Fr. Ibrahim.
Today, the civilians are targeted in the bomb stricken Aleppo city. These are the people who could not afford to leave the city before and these poorest ones are now caught up in starvation in their houses. The only remaining route to the eastern Syria is bombarded and attacked, cutting off the city and making it harder for people to leave anyway. They want us to die!
'Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me'. (Matt 24:9)
Has God also abandoned us today? He is still at work in the face of charities and other people who reaching out to those in dire need. Fr. Ibrahim has been working in Aleppo for two years now. With the help of charities, they are trying to reach out to ones confined in their houses and providing them food and health facilities.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Let us also take Christian persecution as our chance to be Christ in the world. Standing together for this cause and showing our solidarity and heartfelt care is yet another way of doing what Christ would have done today.
Maybe let's not be indifferent to Christian Persecution today?
I am the Holy Name representative for Aid to the Church in Need.