One of the places where Christmas was celebrated on Tuesday is Maaloula, a small town near Damascus, where residents still speak Aramaic, the language used by Jesus Christ.
Maaloula is located in a mountainous area near the Syrian capital, where two ancient Christian monasteries also stand. The area saw heavy fighting against Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists in 2013 and 2014. Some of the damage can still be seen at Christian sites, like defaced crosses and icons or damaged frescos.
But with peace returning to the cradle of Christianity in Syria, people there gathered together with their families and celebrated Christmas in the ancient churches.
“After terrorism had assaulted this monastery and caused a lot of destruction, sabotaging, looting, and setting fires, we restored the monastery, and we are receiving believers who want to get the blessings of this place, as well as hold prayers and religious rituals,” Archimandrite Matta Rizq of the Mar Thecla monastery told Ruptly.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!