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Easter celebrations limited to prayers and masses

Damascus, 5 April 2015 ~ Christian denominations in Syria, who follow the Western calendar, celebrated Easter, with celebrations limited to prayers and masses due to the circumstances in Syria and in honor of martyrs.

In the Roman Catholic Patriarchate in Damascus, a huge mass was held, led by Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All East Gregory III Laham, assisted by a group of priests.

Patriarch Laham affirmed during the sermon that Christians of the East are unified despite the suffering visited on them by terrorists, adding that they are determined not leave their homeland.

The Patriarch called for bringing an end to killing, displacement and suffering in Syria, also making reference to Palestine which he said “must return”.

He called for moving ahead with dialogue and reconciliations among the Syrians.

“With these hopes of resurrection, we send heart-felt wishes from Damascus to the entire world on Easter…the feast of crossing from death to life…from slavery to freedom …from humiliation to dignity and from war to peace,” he added.

The Patriarch implored God to protect the Syrian people, Army and leadership and to help bring the kidnapped back to their families, particularly the bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi.

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In the National Evangelical Church of Damascus, a mass headed by Rev. Peter Zaaour was organized. In his sermon, Zaaour said that for the fifth consecutive year, the Syrian people are facing the “cruelest forms of aggression in history.”

“Syria is a model of love, harmony, civilization and national firmness, that’s why powers of darkness in the world seek its destruction”, Zaaour added.

Meanwhile in the Armenian Orthodox Archdiocese, Primate of the Armenian Church of Damascus Bishop Armash Nalbandian urged in his Easter sermon the Syrians to pray to God “to bless our beloved homeland with peace, brotherhood and prosperity.”

Meanwhile in other provinces, the celebrations of Easter in churches which follow the Western calendar in Syria were limited to observing prayers and masses due to the current events.

The clergymen elaborated in their sermons on the meanings of the Easter, which represents love, tolerance and sacrifice.

The heads of Christian churches implored God to bless their homeland with security and safety and to bring to an end the suffering of the Syrians at the hands of terrorists, stressing that co-existence that distinguishes the Syrian people will enable them to achieve victory over their enemies.

They also hailed the unbreakable bonds binding the Syrians, pointing out that Syria will remain the homeland of love and peace.

In this regard, Christian churches who follow eastern calendar in Syria performed prayers and masses on the occasion of Palm Sunday.

In the church of Mar Elias in Doil’a neighborhood in Damascus a mass was held led by Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X Yazigi of Antioch and all East.

Patriarch Yazigi called on the Syrians to pray for their country and to prevail peace in Syria and the whole region.

A mass was also held in the Syriac Catholic Church, headed Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, the Archbishop in charge of the Patriarchal office in Damascus.

On his sermon after the mass, Syriac Catholic Archbishop Dionysius Jean Kawak prayed to God to protect Syria and its Army and to achieve victory against terrorism.


DAESH-ISIS terrorists blow up the Church of the Virgin Mary in Hasaka

Daesh terrorists blew up the Church of the Virgin Mary in Tal Nasri village in the western countryside of Hasaka province, northeastern Syria.

The exploding of the church came as Christian denominations celebrate Eastern all over the country.

Local sources told SANA that ISIS terrorists had planted explosives in the Church before they detonated it.

The Church of the Virgin Mary was built in 1934 and is considered one of three main churches in Tal Nasri village, which is to located to the south of Tal Tamr town that was earlier overrun by ISIS.

This is not ISIS’s first attack on a religious site, as the terrorist organization’s fighters have intentionally destroyed many Muslim and Christian worship places and other religious sites and shrines in areas they took over.


SANA/Manar al-Frieh/Manal Ismael
SANA/Qabas/ H. Said
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