The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, told an audience at Parliament in London that the city is in “chaos.”
Christians “have fled their homes because of the threat of bombs, they have lost their livelihoods; schools, hospitals and other public services do not function,” said Bishop Antoine Audo, a Jesuit who has led his eparchy (Eastern-rite diocese) of 35,000 Chaldean Catholics since 1992.
“80% of people have no job and have no option but to stay at home,” he added. “Poverty is getting very serious, especially with rising prices and no salaries. The face of the city has changed. There is no security, everything is dirty, there are difficulties in basic travel, no taxis, no buses.”
“In the city of Homs, home to what was the country’s second-largest Christian community, all but a few of the faithful were forced to leave after a wave of persecution—all the churches desecrated,” he continued.