Armenian Christian neighbourhoods of Aleppo are reeling from a deadly rebel attack last week that killed an estimated 29 people, many of them children. At least 56 Christians were injured and seven Christian homes totally collapsed.
It was “a hell” said one Christian leader in Aleppo, describing the five hours from 9 pm until 2 am on Friday night and Saturday morning when rockets rained down on the Christian homes.
At least eleven children were killed as they slept and in one home, a mother and her four children all died. There was good news, however, on Saturday night when four other children were found alive under the ruins of one building.
Christians in Aleppo recognise the danger from attacks like these by forces within Syria, but they now becoming, aware of a chilling threat emanating from Turkey, namely: “We will show all Armenians how to celebrate the 100th anniversary on 24 April.”
This refers to the centenary of the worst year of the Armenian and Assyrian Genocide, which peaked in 1915, when approximately 800,000 Armenians were killed. Armenians focus their genocide remembrance on 24 April, the day on which Armenian leaders and intellectuals were targeted for deportation and killing.
Christians in Aleppo do not know what the future holds for them. Many of them are descended from Armenians who fled the genocide in Turkey and found a safe refuge in and around Aleppo. However. Aleppo may never be safe for them again, and while escaping Aleppo could be possible, escape from Syria has become very difficult with Turkey closing the border and Lebanon now requiring visas.
The Christian population of Aleppo has been reduced from 400,000 before the war, to an estimated 85,000 by the end of March this year, with many fleeing the city. Syrian and Iraqi Christians fear that a new genocide may soon become a reality, one hundred years after the first one.
- Pray for Christians in Aleppo. that they will not lose their hope or faith in their Father God. Pray for peace in their hearts and for their protection.
- Pray for peace in Syria, and that fears of a new genocide will prove to be groundless.
- Pray for healing in relationships between Christians in Aleppo and Turkish Authorities.
Isaiah 41vs 9-10: “‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off’; do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.