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Pope Francis Encourages Oppressed and Persecuted Christians in Middle East

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Roman Curia, said he carries greetings of Pope Francis not only for Christians, but for all inhabitants of the region. He highlighted particularly those who still languish under injustice, suffering and bloodshed.

Cardinal Sandri visited three Syrian refugee families in the Jordanian city of Zarqa Wednesday. The cardinal oversaw the distribution of aid provided to them by Caritas Jordan and was informed what the Latin Patriarchate School in the Zarqa Church can offer to Syrian students of the school.

Cardinal Sandri appreciated the important role played by Jordan, describing it as "a country with a historical, humane and civilized legacy for the good of humanity." He commended the Jordanian openness and hospitality in sheltering Syrian refugees.

The cardinal also praised the assistance provided to refugees on a daily basis, and expressed his pride of the cooperation among various official and popular institutions. He appreciated the prominent role played by the Catholic Church's Caritas, which provides assistance to more than 100,000 Syrian families inside Jordanian territory.

Cardinal Sandri visited the Latin Diocese in Amman, met Patriarch Maroun Lahham and conveyed greetings from H. H. Pope Francis I. He also visited the Greek Catholic Diocese and held a special prayer with priests, monks and nuns. The cardinal was greeted by Archbishop Yasser Ayyash of the Greek Catholic Church and Archbishop Jean Sleiman, the diocese prelate.

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