Hope is dying in Syria, cardinal says

A couple walk past destroyed buildings in Deraa, Syria (CNS/Alaa al Faqir, Reuters)

With no path toward economic recovery and no end of conflict in sight, the Syrian people are losing hope that any sense of peace and normalcy will return, said the apostolic nuncio to Syria. Source: CNS.

“Unfortunately, what is dying in the hearts of many people, is hope,” Cardinal Mario Zenari told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano last week.

“After 10 years of war, many – after no longer seeing economic recovery and reconstruction – are losing hope and this hurts a lot,” he said. “Losing hope means truly losing something fundamental and essential for life. We must try to restore confidence, to give hope back to these poor people.”

While hostilities in the country have dramatically decreased since the signing of a ceasefire in March and the COVID-19 pandemic, the cardinal said, the destruction wrought by the conflict continued to devastate the lives of countless men, women and children.

According to a report last week by the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry, there continues to be “regular spikes in violence and continuous violations of human rights” in Syria.

The commission reported human rights violations committed by almost every fighting force in the country, including “torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” of detainees, as well as “sexual and gender-based violence against women, girls, men and boys.”

Cardinal Zenari said while the “fragile truce” has led to a decrease in bombings, there is a “poverty bomb” causing “hunger, malnutrition of children” and the spread of various diseases in the country.

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Hope is dying in Syria, cardinal says (CNS

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