The Melkite Greek Catholic archbishop of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, has told Aid to the Church in Need that Christians are determined to remain in the war-torn nation.
“The reason we are holding out, we Christians, despite everything that happens to us, is deeply rooted in the history of our Church, which is that of the earliest Christians,” said Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart. “Paul was baptized, confirmed, ordained to the priesthood and sent out to preach the good news to the world by our forefathers in Damascus.”
“The Christians who are suffering here today are the descendants of Christian believers who have remained faithful to Christ for 2,000 years and who had the courage to pay with their lives for their unwavering fidelity to the Church of the Word Incarnate, who has always been the Alpha and the Omega of their existence,” he continued.
Asking Christians in the West for their prayers and support, Archbishop Jeanbart said that “we need their constant and decisive advocacy with their political representatives and their governments … We hope that they will understand, once and for all, that we are determined to remain in our own country. This is a vital need for us and it represents an obvious and inalienable human right; it means as much to us as our life itself.”