Christian Leader in Syria Begs Christians to Stay
Amanda CasanovaReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2015 Sep 03
Despite the violence, a Catholic leader in Syria is asking young Christians to remain in the country.
"The almost communal wave of youth emigration, especially in Syria, but also in Lebanon and Iraq breaks my heart, wounding me deeply and dealing me a deadly blow," Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III said.
"Given this tsunami of emigration ... what future is left for the Church? What will become of our homeland? What will become of our parishes and institutions?" Gregorios asked.
Christians in Syria have faced persecution and bombings that have destroyed neighborhoods and churches. The Islamic State terror group has kidnapped many people and threatened to sell abducted women as sex slaves.
According to the Christian Post, about 450,000 Christian Syrians have left the country since 2011.
"Despite all your suffering, stay! Be patient! Don't emigrate! Stay for the Church, your homeland, for Syria and its future! Stay! Do stay," Gregorios said.
Bishop Yatron Koliana of the Assyrian Church of the East in Lebanon said that many of the Assyrians want to return home.
“We very much hope that countries such as Russia and the United States will hear our call for help from their Christian brothers in the Middle East," the bishop said.
Publication date: September 3, 2015