Christians in Syria celebrate Christmas and pray for peace in the country

On December 24, the Christian denominations in Syria celebrated Christmas, the glorious birthday of Christ, the Messenger of Love and Peace, by holding masses and prayers in churches and places of worship.

In Damascus:

At Mar Antonios Church in Bab Touma in Damascus, a divine mass was presided over by Bishop Samir Nassar, Archbishop of the Maronite patriarchate of Damascus, assisted by the General Curator, Father Gabriel Ghanem.

 Father Ghanem called for God to protect Syria, its army, people, and leader, and to restore security and safety to its lands.

In the Cathedral of Our Lady of Nayeh for the Melkite Roman Catholics in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Damascus, a Mass was presided over by Patriarch of Antioch and the rest of the East for the Roman Melkite Catholic Youssef al-Abssi.

In the Liturgy, Patriarch Al-Absi affirmed the supreme meanings of the glorious Christmas, the birth of Jesus.
“We must make peace, spread joy, build the country, make the way for the future, and thank God who gave us the good news of Christmas,” Al-Absi said.
“We pray for our country, Syria, for every citizen there, for our army, our martyrs, and our wounded, and that God protects our people and our leader.”

In Daraa, a mass and prayer were held in the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation, headed by Father Gerges Rizk, interspersed with hymns and prayers inspired by the birth of Christ.

Father Rizk gave a sermon in which he spoke about the meanings of Christmas and the values of Christ, who worked to spread goodness and stay away from evil and consecrate love and brotherhood among people,
Father Rizk called for peace to prevail in Syria and for the coming year to be a good year for all Syrians.

In Tartus, Bishop Basilios Mansour, the pastor of the Diocese of Akkar and its dependencies for the Greek Orthodox, presided over the Christmas mass at the Church of the Rest of the Lady.

Bishop Mansour affirmed the lofty meanings of Christmas and the great message that Jesus brought to spread the values of good, love and peace among people.
In Hama, the Archbishop of the Roman Orthodox in HamaMetropolitan Nicola Baalbaki said: “The worshippers raise God's praise and chant Glory be to God in the highest and on earth peace .”

Father Iskandar Al-Turk, the representative of the Syrian Catholic Diocese in Hama said: “The birth of Jesus Christ has glory and puts us in front of a new way of living, especially in this crisis, to be with the poor, the ordinary, the suffering and the displaced.”

In Latakia, sermons were held in the Church of Archangels Michael and Gabriel performed by Father Esperon Fayad, in the Church of St. Marjorius performed by the metropolitan Asnasius Fahd and in the Church of St. Barbara for Rome Orthodox performed by Father George Housh

The Bishops’ words mentioned the heroics of the Syrian army, who made great sacrifices in order to keep Syria united and immune, praying to God to preserve Syria, its people, and its army.

In Aleppo, the Christian denominations held prayers and masses to celebrate Christmas in the churches of the Prophet Elias for the Rome Orthodox, Mar Gerges for the RomeCatholics, the Chaldeans, the Lady of Transfer for the Syriac Catholics and Barbara for the Armenian Catholics, the Heart of the Maronites, the Orthodox Syriac, and the Holy Trinity of the Armenian Catholics.

In their sermons, the bishops and priests called for peace in Syria and pointed out to the coincidence of Christmas celebrations with the third anniversary of the liberation of Aleppo from terrorism. They expressed their confidence in victory at the hands of the heroes of the Syrian Arab Army.

In Sweida, the pastor of the National Evangelical Union Church in Sweida and Dara’a Gabriel Jacques Battah headed a sermon in the Church of the Good Shepherd.

O. al-Mohammad / I. Abdulkareem