Priest Who United Christians and Muslims Expelled by Syrian Government
An Italian Jesuit priest who had been living in Syria for 30 years and helped to unite Christians and Muslims has been expelled from the country for criticizing the government. The Rev. Paolo Dall'Oglio, who helped restore a 1,000-year-old monastery and was credited for building bridges between Christians and Muslims, managed to delay the expulsion a year ago with a Facebook campaign defending his right to stay, but had to leave Damascus by Saturday, NPR.com revealed yesterday.
"I am very moved by the face of many youth that have been suffering enormously to achieve their desire of freedom and dignity," Dall'Oglio said last week as he said his goodbyes to friends and supporters in the country. "There are so many young persons that are put in jail and tortured, just because they have expressed, nonviolently, their opinions."
Meanwhile, Syrian opposition groups announced a new joint action committee Tuesday in efforts to bring down President Bashar al-Assad. Government forces have been locked in a fierce battle with rebel groups in recent months, resulting in thousands of deaths, despite efforts by the United Nations to broker a peace agreement and restore stability in the country. (...)