Bishop of Aleppo on “destroyed country and families” in his homeland

2016-08-10 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) As the United Nations called for an urgent humanitarian pause to the fighting raging in the divided city of Aleppo where two million people lack access to clean water and electricity, the Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo speaks about his “destroyed country and the destroyed families” in Syria.     

Bishop Antoine Audo described how “everybody is suffering everywhere in Syria” because of the war and bombardments. He said there was now no water and electricity in Aleppo (following the latest round of fighting), even in the areas of the city controlled by the government, and called once again for a political solution to the conflict. Bishop Audo was interviewed by Susy Hodges.

Listen to the interview with Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo: 

Once Syria’s commercial centre and its largest city, Aleppo has borne the brunt of the fighting and bombardments during the nation’s 5 year old civil war and large areas of it now lie in ruins. 

Bishop Audo spoke of “a destroyed country and destroyed families” and described how the Syrian conflict has plunged people across all social levels into a growing poverty.

Turning to the plight of Syria’s Christian community, the bishop said a lot of people are leaving Aleppo all the time and more than one half of the Christian community has now left the city compared to before the war began.  Many people, he said, can’t bear the constant “insecurity” of living in a city that is being fought over and bombarded every day. 

Asked about his feelings when he looks around Aleppo and sees so much death and destruction and so many buildings lying in ruin as a result of the fighting, Bishop Audo said he feels “very sad” when he compares life in the city now to what it was like before the war began.  Whilst remaining hopeful that one day “the war will end” the Bishop  says he would like to ask the international community this question and demand a response to it:  “Why are you destroying Syria?”

(from Vatican Radio)