“In Palestine, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, people are suffering,” the Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Mor Dionysius Antoine Shahda, told AFP.
The northern Syrian city’s central district of Azizia is usually home to a bustling festive market and a huge Christmas tree, while its streets are adorned with lights and trinkets.
But this year, the main square is almost empty and there are no Christmas decorations in sight.
“In Syria we cancelled all official celebrations and receptions in our churches in solidarity with the victims of the bombing on Gaza” by Israeli forces, Shahda said.
The Syriac Catholic Church was not alone, with the leaders of three of Syria’s major churches – the Greek Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox and Melkite Greek Catholic patriarchs – announcing they were cancelling Christmas festivities and limiting celebrations to religious ceremonies. [Continue reading…]