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A TIME OF SILENCE At this stage of great and blind violence, the rule of

A TIME OF SILENCE

At this stage of great and blind violence, the rule of silence is imposed. For our little voices are stifled by this long and heavy calvary of a small nation on one side and a diplomatic complexity that is blocking any solution on the other side

This small nation is sinking into suffering and gratuitous violence with no end yet in

sight

and has been in an interminable conflict for over 16 months

The central government faces successive waves of rebellion, one after another,

Going out on the street in Damascus means passing by angry refugees who are seeking a refuge and the help they sorely need. The lack of charitable organizations, the embargo, and the limited resources available do not help the problem and feed the people's anxiety.

Apart from the political divisions, the prolonged unemployment and lack of safety have favored the terrible wave of kidnappings in exchange for ransoms. The kidnapped person is often taken after leaving school or the factory. He is either a son or a brother or a father of a family who continues to work. You have to see the panic and anguish of the family that struggles to raise the sum of money from relatives, neighbors, friends, and parishes to save a kidnapped son, brother, or father

This evil practice terrorizes social and parish life: the already weakened religious practice is even weaker. Children no longer come to catechism or pastoral activities. The terrorized families think only getting out, which is impossible because of the closure of the consulates and the official ban on letting families pass through at border crossings. It is a depressing situation

So the Christian minority is turning to its Martyrs who fill History and the Collective

Memory

of 1860 were celebrated on July 10, 20 12 in a foretaste of the Kingdom

"DO NOT BE AFRAID," (John 6:20) says the Lord

Our Damascus Martyrs

Summer 2012

+ Samir NASSAR Maronite Archbishop of Damascus

e.mail:mgrsamirnassar@gmail.com

[Translation by Patricia Bailey de Acero]