Madrid, Spain, May 17, 2016 / 23:25 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Father Rodrigo Miranda is a priest from Chile. But it was in Syria, among the oppressed Christian community, that he learned what it really meant to be a priest.
“They wake us up to the essential and important things in life,” he told the Spanish daily ABC. The witness of the persecuted Christians in Syria is “an antidote for the mediocre and decadent world of our societies.”
Fr. Miranda is a member of the Institute of the Incarnate Word. He lived in Aleppo, Syria from March 2011 until late 2014, when he was forced to leave the country. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in the country’s ongoing civil war, while millions have been displaced from their homes.
The war has affected church attendance in the outlying areas.
“On the weekends we used to have between 250 and 300 people, now we have 15,” the priest said. “More people go to the churches in the center of town because they’re more protected. Since we’re a minority, we all know each other. We know by first and last name those who have been killed.”