2013-05-21 19:25:23

Jacobite Church to help war-hit Syrian brethren

Kochi, India, 21 May 2013: Extending a helping hand to their war-hit brethren in Syria, the Jacobite Church in the Southern Indian state of Kerala collect 20 million rupees for the rehabilitation of the affected in that country. Over 70,000 Christians have died and over a million forced to flee to neighboring countries since the beginning of civil war in Syria.

The Syrian civil war is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Syrian Ba'ath Party government and those seeking to oust it. The conflict began on 15 March 2011, with popular demonstrations that grew nationwide by April 2011. The strife has become increasingly violent and left most of the churches and Christian properties in Syria damaged.

The decision to collect the money was taken at a meeting of vicars and trustees of the churches held on Sunday. The congregation of each church has been asked to contribute as much as they can to the fund. The amount thus collected would be handed over to the Catholicos Baselios Thomas I by June 10. The amount would be taken to Syria by a team of metropolitans, said church spokesperson Fr Varghese Kallappara.

"They have not sought any help, but we thought it was our duty to support them in this time of crisis. At least 40-50 percent of the Christian population in Syria has been wiped out by the violence. There would be only 20 percent living in the country. This is the first time we are offering such a help to Syria," said Fr Kallappara.

A bishops' synod will be held to decide on the metropolitans who would go to Syria with the collected amount. Mathews Mor Themothios, the metropolitan secretary of the Patriarch of Antioch, will lead the team.
Source: UCAN

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