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“However, we still lack the funds to complete the reconstruction of all the homes that were very badly damaged or completely destroyed; we are waiting and hoping that governments, like those of the United Kingdom and Hungary, will step in and help us on this front.”
The Syrian civil war has caused the greatest humanitarian catastrophe since World War II, with some 12 million refugees and Internally Displaced People. Today, Christians in Syria form only 3 percent of the population, whereas before the war they accounted for 10 percent.
The village was badly damaged during the fighting of recent years but the Christian community has returned—in large numbers. By now, 405 of the 580 homes that were destroyed in Bashiqa have already been rebuilt and about half of the Christians, or 1,585 people, have returned.
“What happened in Homs was very hard. Still, we did not think about emigrating because we have strong commitments here and ties with our local community—the idea of emigration was totally unacceptable to my father. He feels rooted in the land and leaving Syria is not for him.”
“We do not know if every family will return to the Nineveh Plains, but we do believe that all Christians have a duty to shape the identity of the region. We want to live on our land, and we ask that our people stand with us. We must preserve our identity and history for the sake of children of the diaspora—our enduring presence here must not be compromised.”
“As long as we have faith, there is no need to worry or fear. Whenever we encounter disaster, we grow closer to God, so we should never despair. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you and to share what is inside of me.”
“Of course there is still so much pain and suffering for so many of us, but to be finally back home and able to re-start our lives is a huge step forward and an important sign of hope.”
FOUR YEARS after the so-called Islamic State released a propaganda video showing the beheading of 21 abducted Coptic Christians in Libya, aid workers and politicians …
THE FIRST-EVER papal visit to Arabia was a sign of increasing religious tolerance in the Muslim world. The Mass Pope Francis celebrated in Abu Dhabi, …