When the sky turned black with bombs
A Sister in Damascus has told how she, fellow nuns and students narrowly escaped death yesterday (Tuesday, 20th February 20th) when the sky “turned black” on one of the deadliest days of the conflict in the Syrian capital. Describing the situation at her convent in the Bab ToumaTuma district of Damascus’sthe Old City of Damascus, Sister Annie said: “I saw people taking their children and running – a rocket landed on the roof of the Patriarchate close to us. Somehow it
did not explode. If it had done so, we could have been killed.”
Speaking to Aid to the Church in Need today, Sister Annie Demerjian of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary, a leading project partner for ACN, said that the windows of the hostel where she works were shaking because of the bombs, and that in response the students evacuated to the relative safety of the corridors. Sister Annie’s comments come after a sudden upsurge of violence in Damascus, including the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, with reports of more than 250 people killed in the last three days.
Sister Annie said:“: “Yesterday was like hell. It was raining bombs. There were so many shells and so many people injured. Describing the situation, Sister Annie said many schools had now closed even though it is not officially holiday time. She said: “We have to carry on. Life is stronger than death. We don’t know how long this violence will continue, but it can’t last forever. The Lord has been good to us. So far, none of us Sisters have been hurt but so many others have suffered. Please pray for us. The only way forward for us is prayer.”
Some news from Caritas
In its report, Caritas lamented the fact that the media are “unfortunately neglecting a part of the Syrian story”,,” pointing out that “most of the news reports were focusing on the Russian and Syrian airstrikes on Eastern Ghouta and the humanitarian situation there, the casualties and needs, but we hardly found anyone talking about the situation inside Damascus, which has been under attack from mortar shells since the beginning of 2018.”
“Certain Damascus neighborhoodsneighbourhoods have witnessed repeated mortar attacks and shelling since January 22nd, especially the Bab ToumaTuma, Abbassyin, Kassaa, Koussour and Jaramana neighborhoods”.neighbourhoods.” The eastern suburbs of Damascus are where the main Christian area is located, along with the majority of the Caritas offices and the convents and monasteries of the city. “Since February 5 and up tilluntil now, more than 200 mortar shells have hit Damascus’ eastern neighborhoods, causingneighbourhoods, resulting in more than 28 killed and 90 injured”,,” the Caritas report reveals.
Father Andrzej Halemba, ACN’s head of section for the projects in Syria, has also called for prayers, “for the Syrian Christians, who are living through some extremely difficult moments at this time”..” He also called “for a cessation of hostilities and all bombing in Eastern Ghouta and the city of Damascus, where hundreds of civilians, many of them Christians, are living in terror night and day on account of the incessant attacks.”
Please join with us in prayer for the victims of this latest attack and all those suffering persecution and violence.