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Syrian government loosens travel restrictions on Christian clergy

The Syrian government has waived border fees for Christian church leaders entering the country.
Bishop Ephraim Maalouli (R) speaks at a ceremony, after he was appointed as the new metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox archieparchy of Aleppo and Alexandretta, at Saint Elias Cathedral, Aleppo, Syria, Dec. 10, 2021.

The Syrian Cabinet issued Nov. 30 a decision exempting some categories — including Christian clergy, such as patriarchs, bishops and their drivers, priests, deacons, monks and nuns — from paying $100 in exchange for Syrian currency when entering the country provided that they carry a paper slip proving that they are on a church mission between Syria and Lebanon. 

This came following a decision that obliges Syrians to exchange $100 before entering Syria, which places them in the face of major challenges and exacerbates their living crisis. Such decisions aim to supply the treasury with hard currency, despite the alleged exceptions.

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