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Current Issue
July, 2019
Volume 45, Number 2
  
5 January 2017
J.D. Conor Mauro




Syrians fill plastic containers with water at a public fountain in Damascus on 3 January. (photo: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images)

Drinking water a new casualty of Syria’s war (New York Times) For millions of Damascus residents, long-term concerns about the direction of the war in Syria have been replaced by worries about where to get enough water to do the dishes, wash clothes or take a shower. For nearly two weeks, the Syrian capital and its vicinity have been afflicted by a water crisis that has left taps dry, caused long lines at wells and forced people to stretch whatever thin resources they can find. As with most of Syria’s problems, the Damascus water crisis is a symptom of the war. Historically, most of the water for the capital has come from the Barada Valley north of the city, which is controlled by rebels…

In Aleppo, heads of churches pray together for peace (Fides) In Aleppo, at the beginning of the new year, on the occasion of World Day for Peace, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the prayer for peace in Syria at the Cathedral of St. Ephrem the Syrian. Besides bishops and priests of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Maronite Bishop Joseph Tobji, Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo and the Rev. Ibrahim Nseir of the Arab Evangelical Church also attended. The patriarch, the bishops and all those present prayed together for peace in Syria and an end to violence, and prayed for the return of the two bishops of Aleppo who disappeared in April 2013: Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Paul Yazigi and Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan Youhanna Ibrahim…

Syrians turn for help in Lebanon (CNS) Balancing boxes and bags filled with warm clothes for his family, Malak Elias Mnayeri waited for a taxi in the near-freezing temperatures outside Caritas Lebanon’s center in Zahle, close to the Syrian border. “Today I feel like a real father,” he told Catholic News Service, discussing the necessities he would take to his two children. The Syriac Orthodox family fled from Homs, Syria, four years ago.

“We used to live in dignity,” Mr. Mnayeri said. “I never thought we’d be living like this, always in need.” Through his work as an auto mechanic, Mr. Mnayeri’s family lived comfortably in Homs before the conflict started…

Iraqi civil authorities: Christians return to Basra (Fides) The celebrations for the beginning of the new year 2017 gave civil authorities of the province of Basra an opportunity to deliver positive messages toward Christians. In particular, the president of the provincial council in Basra, Khalaf Abdul al Samad, during his visit to an Armenian church in Basra expressed his intention to offer consistent support for the restructuring and recovery activities in the churches and help Christians return…

Christmas attacks confirm threats facing Christians in India (Crux) Four separate incidents of violence and intimidation around Christmas time illustrates that India’s powerful militant Hindu national movements continue to make life increasingly difficult for the country’s Christian minority…

Why are Yazidis being uprooted again? (Al Monitor) The Yazidi refugees who fled massacres at the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq are now being forced to vacate their camp in Turkey — in the dead of winter, on short notice. Although journalists were not allowed in the camp, Al Monitor was able to talk with Yazidis who were going out to shop. Halef Smoki, who has lived in the Diyarbakir camp for more than two years with his five-member family, told Al Monitor the situation there has become miserable since the evacuation order was given. “They were giving us food and looked after us. Now we are told to leave. They tell us, ‘No more meals or water, and soon we will cut your electricity.’ Where are we supposed to go with children in the middle of winter? We no longer have a doctor because they took him away. We are left with nothing. We are under government order. We will do what they say. If we can stay, we will…”



Tags: Syria India Iraq Lebanon Violence against Christians