Aleppo: Church Working to Restore Hope by Providing Aid and Encouraging Families
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2017 Jan 26
The Church in Aleppo is helping to restore hope in an area ravaged by conflict and war by providing help and encouragement to families and communities.
ChrisitanToday.com reports that, due to the Syrian Civil War, the scourge of the Islamic State, and the destruction of homes, churches, and communities, many young couples have been reluctant to stay in Syria and bring children into such dire circumstances.
The Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo is encouraging these couples to stay and start families, however. The church is also launching an initiative to support young people and children.
Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart has worked with his church to develop a sponsorship program to help families support their children for the first years of their lives.
Slowly but surely, more families are responding to the support of the church. Last year, members of Jeanbart’s church gave birth to over 100 children.
The sponsorship program, called the “Build to Stay” program, includes giving out loans to families in need, helping with travel costs of returning refugees, and supporting the care of young children.
Jeanbart says the overall outlook of Syrian Christians is beginning to be more hopeful.
“They feel that something good is coming round,” he said.
Jeanbart also shared the heartache he felt witnessing the mass exodus of Christians from Aleppo. He estimates that there were once 165,000 Christians in the city, and now there are only 55,000.
"The city is ours, the land is ours, Syria is ours, and we have to continue this presence because it is a holy land. Syria is a holy land," he concluded. "If I can give my life for that, it will be worth it."
Photo courtesy: World Watch Monitor
Publication date: January 26, 2017