by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The governorate of Idlib in Syria has been almost entirely emptied of its substantial Christian community in the wake of 10 years of catastrophic civil war, Christian Persecution (CP) reports. Unofficial statistics state that around 200 Christians have managed to cling on to the city, but some 10,000 have now left.
According to local statistics, Christian began to leave Idlib in 2012; most of the remainder left after the 2015 Battle of Idlib, when the opposition group al-Nusra Front seized control of the city. The average age of Christians in Idlib is reported to be 70 years old, with only 10 between the ages of 20 and 40.
Among those who refused to leave their homes despite the ravages of war, is 90-year-old Christian, Michel Boutros. In an interview with al-Monitor, Boutros said he has not left his house in Idlib for 10 years now. “My family is from Idlib city. My family and I used to live here in this house, which became a part of me, and I shall not leave it, come what may. My brothers moved to live in Aleppo while my father, his wife and I chose to stay,” Boutros explained.
“We witnessed battles and all kinds of calamities, but we did not leave Idlib during the clashes between the Syrian regime and the opposition in the city in 2015,” Boutros added.
Boutros believes the harm inflicted on Idlib by the war cannot be undone. Moreover, there are no churches as there are barely any Christians. Nevertheless, Boutros told al-Monitor: “We thank the Lord for everything and are confident that he shall take care of us. The Lord is our father and our brother, and he is managing everyone’s affairs in this war.”
If you are interested in articles produced by Worthy News, please check out our FREE sydication service available to churches or online Christian ministries. To find out more, visit Worthy Plugins.