In Syria: A War Against People & Trees – Exclusive

Archbishop Eustathius Matta Roham
Archbishop of Jezira and the Euphrates
Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch
OCP News Service

SYRIA/GLOBAl: The OCP Secretariat received another email from His Eminence regarding current situation in Syria.

Dear brother in Christ
Peace and greetings to you in the Name of Christ our Lord.

I hope this finds you well, and may God shower upon you all the blessings of Christmas throughout the New Year, 2013.

This morning (15/1/13) I made a visit to The National Park in Hassake, which faced lately a very big disaster. The poor Bedouins from the suburbs of Hassake have cut off the old trees there. I chat with some people during my visit to know why this is happening. Some of these people were staff persons, who were very disappointed with what is going on. They said: we cannot stop the poor and the policemen came once and they gave up now and they let the poor cut off all the trees. I asked those who were cutting and carrying the wood: why they do this? The answer came: “we are poor and we have nothing to live. The weather is very cold and we need to warm our houses and make our living”.

I feel very sorry for all what is going on in Syria. In addition to deaths, destruction, inflation, poverty, displacement, immigration, kidnapping, etc., now one more sin is committed against nature and environment, which is cutting off the trees. The cutting of trees has happened all over the country, because of lack of fuel for heating, long hours and days of electricity short cut, and poverty. People do not have money to buy oil. They bought this cold winter wood stoves to heat their houses, because it is cheaper for them to use wood.

Christian Homes Robbed in Ras Al-Ayn

I heard this evening of painful news from Ras Al-Ayn. I was told that some people from Idleb area in Syria came to Ras Al-Ayn, which is on the Turkish border in my Archdiocese, and robbed all the houses of Christians in this little town. It was more than two months ago that Ras Al-Ayn was under fire by the clashes between the rebels and the regime. The Christians of Ras Al-Ayn left the town to seek a safe haven in Hassake and the neighboring countries. Every day, there are new losts in Syria, and peace is far away from the hearts of the fighting parties.

God have mercy.

I thank you so much for creating awareness about us, wishing you peace and prosperity.

With Christ’s love and blessings,
Yours in the service of Christ,
Archbishop Eustathius Matta Roham