The Roman Catholic Church is calling on Christians and the governments of all nations to help children who are caught in the conflict in the Middle East.
Although the Vatican had already issued the call to protect Middle Eastern children, it was highlighted after a video of an injured Syrian boy went viral.
The video of the 5-year-old boy, named Omran Daqneesh, shows him being pulled from the rubble of his bombed-out home in Aleppo. He is taken to an ambulance where he sits, bloodied and silent, apparently in shock.
Catholic Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, called attention to the suffering of children like Omran and called on the international community to take action.
"Never in recent memory have so many children been subjected to such violent brutality: children used as soldiers, suicide bombers, sex slaves, and disposable intelligence gatherers in the most dangerous military operations," Auza said, as quoted by The Catholic News Agency.
"These crimes must be condemned in the strongest possible terms," he continued.
Archbishop Auza also urged sensitivity when helping children exposed to violence reintegrate into society.
“While we witness barbaric acts beyond anyone's imagination committed also by child soldiers, we must remember that these children are exploited and manipulated into what they have become," he stated.
Publication date: August 19, 2016