Christmas Mass held in churches across Syria

Syria's Muslims and Christians share a single destiny

Dec 25, 2013 - Provinces, (SANA) – In deference to the current circumstances in Syria, Christmas celebrations were limited to holding mass and prayers in churches and places of worship across the country.

In St. George Cathedral in Damascus, Archbishops Jean Qawaq and Matthew al-Khuory, and Archbishop al-Khory recited a message from Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, Ignatius Zakka I Iwas.

In his message, Patriarch Iwas reaffirmed that Syria is the eternal home of Syriacs, reiterating calls for resolving the crisis via dialogue and political solutions and stressing that Syria's Muslims and Christians share a single destiny.

He called upon the countries that will participate in the "Geneva 2" conference to cease their support for terrorists who are bound to turn against them one day.

Patriarch Iwas reiterated calls for releasing Bishops John Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi and the nuns of St. Thecla Convent who were abducted by terrorists.

He said that there are attempts by certain sides to expel Christians from the Middle East, asserting that there can be no Middle East without Christianity and no Christianity without the Middle East, adding "the See of Antioch will never in any day be located in Stockholm, Frankfurt or Los Angeles."

Patriarch Iwas concluded his message by offering season's greetings to President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian people and praying for Syria and its martyrs.

In the National Evangelical Church in Damascus, Pastor Peter Zaour headed the mass in which he prayed for the cessation of bloodshed and the restoration of stability and security to Syria.

Pastor Zaour called upon Syrians to stand fast in the face of the conspiracy targeting them and their land and to put their faith in God, parying for the abducted bishops and nuns and all other abductees.

He prayed to God to bless President Bashar al-Assad and grant him health, concluding by stressing that the conspiracy seeking to destroy Syria is doomed to fail.

Read more at: http://sana.sy/eng/21/2013/12/25/519392.htm

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