The stunning restoration of the Greek Melkite Catholic church in Aleppo – targeted multiple times by sectarian armed gangs in East Aleppo.
A labour of love by Greek architectural engineer, Najwan Tahannis. Please watch his shy, proud smile at the end of his interview when he tells me that many people have told him how beautiful the church is.
While the West claims outrage and demands the “protection of Christians” in Syria, they are effectively ensuring their persecution while financing, arming and promoting the terrorist groups who have systematically desecrated churches and massacred Christian communities across Syria.
The only power standing between Christianity and its extinction in Syria is the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army who have protected and defended these communities because they are Syrian and part of the diverse, historic fabric of this nation essential for its continued multi-cultural identity.
The Greek Melkite Catholic church was extensively damaged by the terrorist gangs holed up in East Aleppo for almost 5 years. I remember visiting this site shortly after the liberation in December 2016, we were not allowed inside at the time because of the risk of mines left behind by the departing extremists.
Now, the church is almost entirely restored. Gone are the blackened remnants of its broken architecture, replaced by stunning new stonework and restored artefacts that reflect the heart and passion of Najwan Tahannis for whom this project was clearly one of profound faith and belief in the ability of this community to rise from the ashes of externally driven terrorism.
This is the spirit of Syria and Syrians, this is why they will survive this war and emerge stronger and more beautiful than before.
As Archbishop Jeanbart said, immediately after the liberation of East Aleppo by the SAA:
“I go say a few prayers, and then I feel full of life, full of hope, full of joy — and full of ideas!”
“The churches are like lighthouses in the ocean; they are a source of security and hope, and are but one of the first steps towards encouraging the return of the uprooted Christians here” ~ Father Andrzej Halemba