The New York Times reports that several hundred Syrian Christian refugees have arrived in Turkey throughout the past few weeks, heading for “the monasteries and towns of Mardin and Midyat in Tur Abdin, an ancient region in southeastern Turkey, less than 50 kilometers, or 30 miles, from the Syrian border that is the historical heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Church.”
The exodus from Syria is raising hopes of resurrecting the Christian presence in southeastern Turkey, which “is still dotted with Syriac churches like Mor Gabriel, which was founded in the year 397 and is one of the oldest active monasteries in the world today,” reports the Times. “But apart from the monks, very few Syriacs remain.”
USA Today also reports that an “estimated 7,000 of Syria’s Christian-Armenian community have arrived in Armenia since the start of the uprising.” Christian refugees have headed for Aleppo, which is now the temporary home for nearly 8 in 10 of the Syrian Christians in Armenia.
CT previously has reported on Syria, including how many Christians backed Assad’s regime and have been working to avert an all-out civil war. CT has also noted the legal troubles of Mor Gabriel. CT has also reported on Syriac Christians, who speak Aramaic (the language of Jesus), and “religicide” in the Middle East.
By Melissa Steffan