February 5, 2018 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos
DEIR EZZOR, Syria – For the first time in five years, Syrian Christians have been able to hold their a mass in the city of Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria.
Although the entirety of Deir Ezzor province was an ISIS-stronghold, the terrorist organization were never able to take the entire city.
However, the daily attacks was enough to stop church service from occurring.
Although only very few people attended, it is a significant moment and also shows the unity among Syrians when some of the very few people in attendance were Muslim Clerics.
Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Ignatius Aphrem II, led the mass at St Mary;s church.
“It’s an indescribable feeling for us to pray in a nearly destroyed church, which serves as a consolation for our hearts and a message of hope to the people of the city to come back and take part in building it anew,” the patriarch said.
Maurice Amseeh, a local bishop, also called on for Christians to return to Deir Ezzor.
“The important thing now is for life to come back, for Deir Ezzor’s residents and Christians to come back to it,” he said.
Before the war, there were approximately 3,000 Christians in Deir Ezzor.
The siege on the city was lifted in November 2017 when Syrian government forces uprooted ISIS.