Maarat Saidnaya (Agenzia Fides) - Questions about abortion, euthanasia, organ donation. But also on the paths to follow to confess the name of Christ and to bear witness to His love in war-torn Syria. These are the requests that Syrian boys and girls, belonging to the Syriac Orthodox Church, expressed in the confrontation they had on Wednesday 11 September with Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, in the context of the IV Suryoyo Youth General Gathering in Syria, SYGG- Syria 2019, underway in Maarat Saidnaya, at the monastery of Saint Ephrem (27 km north of Damascus). The Patriarch, in his replies, invited everyone to follow Jesus’ footstep and to get involved in charitable works addressed to his fellow countrymen, struggling with the difficulties and problems that afflict the distorted country caused by long years of conflict.
During the days of the meeting, inaugurated on Tuesday 10 September with a festive celebration organized by scout groups of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate, hundreds of participants at the gathering were also able to gather information on the initiatives inspired by the Patriarchate of Antioch of the Syriac Orthodox to preserve the heritage of the language and of the Syriac culture, as well as on the academic activities already implemented by the Antioch Syrian University, the new University inaugurated in November 2018 in Maarat Saidnaya on the input of Patriarch Aphrem II.
In his inaugural speech, Patriarch Aphrem II also repeated that Christians in Syria "are strongly rooted in their Country", and are grateful to live in the lands where Jesus himself walked during his earthly life. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 12/9/2019)