Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski was a special guest of Tv Republika, where he talked among others things about the difficult situation Christians face everyday in Syria. How do they cope with living in a war zone and have they lost hope? All of that and more on the matter had the metropolitan bishop of Cracow who recently visited the turmoiled Middle Eastern country.
“They live by hope everyday. They still have faith that they can start their lives anew. Of course, the situation in Syria is very difficult, especially where the Islamic State came to life. The Christians there had to choose between three ways of living, or more specifically with two and the last one was more of a conclusion. The first one, was to convert to Islam and if they didn’t agree to that, they were forced to pay a huge tax every month. The last solution was to be beheaded. Simple as that. We shouldn’t be surprised, that those who survived the initial attack and were mentally and financially prepared for it decided to run away. Only the poorest had to stay behind. Nonetheless, they don’t lose hope. Especially since there’s been a little bit of peace for some time now, and they can build new churches, teach their kids religion and the Catholic church is able to send proper aid. This gives them much hope. It’s hard to say whether it was safe or not, I preferred not to know too much. Even still, it was very sad and difficult to walk around the destroyed cities. It felt like I was in Warsaw after the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. These were places where the military wouldn’t let anyone enter a month ago. They let us in, but we couldn’t take pictures. The pain and suffering were overwhelming. We want to help them as much as we can”- says Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, Metropolitan Bishop of Cracow.