Priest forced to leave All Saints’, Damascus

The Church Times:

As the Syrian authorities’ response to the popular uprising becomes increasingly brutal, despite the start of the Islamic fast of Ramadan, the small Anglican community that remains in the country is about to be deprived of pastoral leadership.

The government in Syria has refused to renew the visa of the Revd Andrew Lake, of All Saints’ Interna­tional Anglican Church, in Damascus, and he is being forced to leave the country next Tuesday.

The government justified the decision on the grounds that, under new regulations, the Protestant Church there was no longer per­mitted to have foreigners working for it. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop in Jerusalem, the Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, have appealed against the decision, but without success.

A Western diplomat in Damascus said that the decision may have been influenced by “the displeasure at the way the US and European govern­ments are condemning the measures being taken against demonstrators”.

Read it all.

Reuters is one source reporting on the latest in Syria.

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