In June, the Syrian government expelled Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio, SJ for his criticism of brutal government crackdowns against civilians and peaceful protestors. NPR, the NYTimes, PBS, and The Jesuit Post picked up on the story. For 30 years, Fr. Paulo worked for peace and reconciliation in Syria. Now in exile, he continues that work by raising awareness of the dire situation faced by the Syrian people.
Our partners at the Ignatian News Network recently caught up with Fr. Paulo to discuss his continued struggle for peace and justice in Syria. The video below explores the complex and delicate political situation that forms the backdrop of what has become a Syrian civil war. It’s a story of regional and international power struggles mixed with ethnicity, and oil wealth. Oh, and the complexities of religion, too.
There are no easy answers to a bloody civil war. International action comes at a great human cost and the political will for such action seems to be lacking. What is clear is that the situation continues to degenerate.
And yet the cost of international inaction is very high as well. The need is urgent even though the next step may be unclear. According to the Economist, around 25,000 civilians have been killed so far in the conflict and a quarter of a million people have fled the country.