In solidarity with the victims of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

In solidarity with the victims of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria


Message of sr. Nadia Coppa, ASC - President of the UISG


With deep emotion and sorrow, I wish to express my sympathy and support, together with that of the members of the International Union of Superiors General, to the people of Turkey and Syria affected by the devastating earthquake that occurred on February 6th (and on Februrary 20th, Ed.)

We wish to reach out in deep solidarity to the Christian Communities and the various religious denominations, and especially to the Religious Congregations that are apostolically present in that region or whose missionary sisters/brothers are working and giving their lives in these territories.

The tragic images of an unprecedented catastrophe are etched in our eyes and hearts. The number of victims is appalling, the number of people injured is incalculable, and the overall damage is inestimable. The extreme temperatures of this very hard winter are slowing down and hampering the arrival of aid services, and despair seems to be increasing day by day. Almost twelve years of war in Syria, followed by poverty, the pandemic, and now the earthquake have been severely putting at the test an already hard-hit people, so much so that finding a meaning for all this pain seems rather difficult. 

The news of people miraculously rescued under ruins opens our heart to hope, and the solidarity of rescuers, united in the common effort of humanitarian agencies, voluntary organisations, and technicians, partly gives relief and alleviates the dramatic aspects of this immense tragedy.  The survivors’ faces, marked by despair and fear, encourage us to a concrete and solidarity-based proximity: We cannot leave these brothers and sisters alone, but we shall become the voice of populations that are often, too often, forgotten.

Embracing Pope Francis’ call, we also want to give our contribution in relieving this catastrophe, by intensifying our prayer and participating, in a spirit of solidarity and communion, in the various initiatives aimed at collecting all kinds of aid, in order to provide these populations, that have already been so badly hit, with concrete responses.

While the blood of so many victims continues staining our Earth, due to wars and economic conflicts, this natural tragedy forcefully invites us to unite in communion and solidarity, to convert our hearts to what is essential in life, and to take action under the aegis of humanity and proximity, a prophetic sign of God's presence and a guarantee of a possible future for all.

Let us be spiritually and physically united with the victims of the earthquake, knowing that our Lord does not abandon anyone and, what is more, let us help, with our support, those who are called to the front line, to deal with this emergency. May our closeness encourage, support, and help those affected to overcome this hard time, because rebirth is possible!

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