THERE USED TO BE ALWAYS GOOD FRIDAY THERE
FR. MARIUSZ FRUKACZ
Christian inhabitants of Aleppo, are still feeling very isolated and endangered despite the improvement of their situation.
Christians in Near East are saying directly: ‘We live in the atmosphere of Good Friday, help us go to Sunday of Resurrection’. This dramatic appeal cannot be unheard by us, Christians in Poland. An occasion to help is experiencing the Easter which direct our eyes to the Holy Land. It is just there where there is a Basilica of Resurrection, often called Basilica of Jesus Sepulcher – Fr. Mariusz Boguszewski from the Association of Help to Church in Need emphasizes and adds: - Easter in Syria or Iraq or other places of the Holy Land are celebrated very solemnly. Bells ringing in churches of various Christian religions gives a lot of hope that this great tragedy of war will finally end.
Please, do something
I remember a testimony of one of followers of a religion different from Christianity, in Iraq, who said when seeing me: - I know who you are, I know why you are coming here. Please, do something so that the Christians would return here (in 2011 in Iraq there were 1.5 million Christians, whereas today there are 120 thousand of them). I answered him: - Christians did not go on holiday from here. Somebody made them leave, somebody killed or raped them….
I know it – that man said – I am ashamed of it, but I also know that we will kill one another here. We need the presence of Christians, it is them who tell us that God is love…We do not know it yet – Fr. Boguszewski says.
The last sad Easter
Also Eva-Maria Kolmann, who describes the situation of the Christians in Syria, emphasizes that ‘in the last years Easter has been sad for the inhabitants of Aleppo. There used to be Good Friday, the light of resurrection seemed absent’. – Our children receive coffins on Easter – says s. Annie Demerjian. The name Aleppo has become a synonym of death, grief and fear.
At this moment the situation in Aleppo got improved, and people are impatiently awaiting celebration of Easter again. Therefore s. Annie can say: - Thanks God we feel much safer. Shots stopped. We are very glad like other Christians who will be celebrating Easter in peace after so many years of war. Now we feel safer when we are going to church and are returning from it. We thank God that the situation got improved. I hope that refugees will be able to spend Easter in renovated houses. I believe in the victory of peace and love in our country so that we would be united again.
Christians in Aleppo are trying to connect their pain with Christ’s road of the cross. Najib Halak, a Christian from Aleppo says: - In these circumstances we are trying to follow Christ on His road of suffering. We are going this road with Him in order to reach glorious resurrection with Him.
At this moment the Association Help to Church in Need and Caritas Polska are playing an important role in Syria. S. Annie thanks all donors who were with people in Aleppo to ease their great suffering: - I thank Jesus who was suffering for us on the cross and connected us with good people who are supporting us through faith. This is God’s blessing – she emphasizes.
Translated by Aneta Amrozik
Niedziela 16/2019 (21 IV 2019)