A Syrian archbishop who marked Easter in Homs, one of the towns most devastated by extremist attacks, has said that as many as 700 to 800 Christians died for their faith.
“Christianity is rich with numerous martyrs who died because of their faith … [A]round 700-800 Christian martyrs sacrificed their life in the old town of Homs,” said Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Selwanos Petros Al-Nemeh of Homs and Hama.
Al-Nemeh told Catholic relief group Aid to the Church in Need on Tuesday:
“We will live the resurrection. We hope for peace and happiness, because God gives us the triumph over death. We pray our God to give peace to the whole world, that we can live peacefully and happily together.”
He explained that the ongoing war in Syria has left people without jobs and living in poor conditions. He estimated that close to half of Syria’s entire Christian population has fled the country since 2011.
“Christians would love to stay and be bound to their country because this is their land … What is preventing them from staying is the instability in their work, the insecurity and vulnerability that they are facing, economic difficulties and dreadful living conditions,” the archbishop said.
He explained that people were “bewildered by the immensity of the damage in the city [of Homs],” and said that more help is urgently needed.
Those in need include families that have been internally displaced and need to get back to their former homes, as well as refugees who have fled to Lebanon and other countries.
“Those who went to Lebanon await for some more stability to come back to Syria and they are willing to return whereas, I think, for those who left for Europe, it will be difficult to return,” Al-Nemeh noted.
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Source: Christian Post