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Tuesday, 31 December 2013 19:05

The Refugees in front of the manger

During this Christmas, Syria resembles the manger at all levels : an open, cold, deprived and poor stable.

The child Jesus doesn’t lack companions in Syria. Thousands of children who lost their houses live under the tents which are as poor at the Manger of Bethlehem.

Jesus is no longer alone in his misery. The abandoned Syrian children who are marked by situations of violence, even desire to be in Jesus’ place who was always surrounded and cherished by his parents. This feeling of bitterness is highly visible in the eyes of the Syrian children, their tears and their silence…

Some envy the Divine Baby because he found this stable where he could be born and find shelter while some of these unfortunate children are born under the bombs or on their exile road.

Mary isn’t alone in her difficulties; certain unfortunate mothers who are less lucky live in extreme poverty and shoulder the family responsibilities on their own, without their husband…

The instability of the stable of Bethlehem brings forth a consolation to these poor mothers who are overwhelmed by these unsolvable problems and by despair.

Joseph’s assuring presence near the Holy Family is a source of jealousy for these thousands of families deprived of their fathers. Such deprivation produces fear, anguish and anxiety. Our unemployed people envy Joseph the carpenter who sustains the family.

The shepherds and their flocks who approach the manger, speak a lot to numerous Syrian livestock farmers who lost 70% of their flocks during this war….

on this biblical land which dates back to Abraham and even well before, nomad life disappeared dramatically as well as its old hospitality customs  and  traditional culture.

The dogs of these Christmas shepherds pity these domestic animals; in today’s Syria which is devastated by deadly violence, they wander in the ruins and they feed on human corpses.

The infernal noise of the war suffocates the angels’ Gloria… This Christmas symphony for peace, yields in front of hatred, division and cruel atrocity…

May the three magi bring to the Syrian Manger, the most precious Christmas gifts: Peace, Forgiveness and Reconciliation so that THE CHRISTMAS STAR might shine anew in the dark nights.


Christmas 2013


Maronite Archbishop of Damascus

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