The Syrian Violence Continues

“The explosion was extremely violent, and it was strongly felt. Apparently there is a no longer one place in Aleppo that is 100 percent safe.”Br. Firas Lutfi, OFM, the school principal, said in a telephone interview with the friars in Beirut.

The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land reported on Saturday, May 21, that missiles fell on a Terra Santa Middle School in Aleppo, Syria. This explosion killed one person and two were seriously injured.

Until this attack, the middle school was one of the only safe places in the city of Aleppo. Many families found this space a refuge for their families and a place for their children to play without fear. The Franciscan Friars opened classrooms in the school to accommodate elderly people who were misplaced from their homes due to violence and damage.

“For Christian families the Holy Land Monastery is considered to be the lungs where they can come and breathe. This is where they take refuge for some fresh air and for their children to play,” said Br. Ibrahim Sabbagh, a priest from Aleppo. “This is the only place where there is still a little green space left. This is also where youth groups, unable to get out of Aleppo, come to gather and organize their summer camp. We just repaired and did some maintenance work in preparation for the summer. But what happened this afternoon makes us suspend the work while we wait for a bit of peace and serenity.”

The Franciscan friars have three centers in Aleppo to help create a safe place: St. Francis of Assisi parish, a branch of the parish Er Ram and the Terra Santa Middle School.

The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land appreciates your support and prayers as they work to serve fellow Christians living in a time of devastation.