(AFP) — Syriac Orthodox Christians in Syria’s northeastern city of Hasakeh celebrated the inauguration of the community’s new bishop on Saturday, four years after the last one left the country.
Six years of conflict have ravaged Syria and displaced more than half of its population, including millions who have become refugees.
Christians in some parts of the country have been particularly targeted by the jihadists of the Islamic State group, who have torn down and desecrated churches and Christian icons.
In the Saint George Cathedral in Hasakeh city, worshippers said Archbishop Maurice Amseeh’s arrival was a sign that their community remained resilient despite the war.
“It’s true that many have left, but we’re still here, and what happened today is the proof that we’re still here in this country and that we will stay,” said 23-year-old student Jenny Hakop.