Syria Update: Six Years Later – Aleppo Today
It is hard to believe, but the crisis in Syria started six years ago. During these six years of fighting, civilians have been heavily affected by the war. Below is a summary update we recently received from Rev. Haroutune Selimian, President of the Armenian Protestant Community in Syria.
When it comes to Aleppo we can say that the situation has improved for everyone. There has been a lot of work toward getting buildings habitable again so that families can return to their homes. There are, of course, many buildings that must be torn down and totally rebuilt.
On March 14th, Water Resources Minister Nabil al-Hassan announced that water had reached the Sleiman al-Halabi station, and from there it will be pumped to residential neighborhoods in Aleppo. Electricity remains the real problem as the neighborhoods in Aleppo receive no more than two hours of electricity a day.
Although the overall security situation in Aleppo is stable, missiles are occasionally launched into our neighborhoods.
The situation for the Churches in Aleppo is at its best since July 2012. In spite of the hardships that our people are experiencing, our churches are still functioning just like before and all school groups are up and running. The eleven churches of the Armenian Evangelical Community in Syria are: In Aleppo the Armenian Evangelical Bethel Church, the Armenian Evangelical Emmanuel Church, the Armenian Evangelical Martyrs’ Church, Church of Christ, and the Syriac Evangelical Church. In Kessab the four are actively responding to the needs of their communities according to the means at hand as well as the Armenian Evangelical Churches in Damascus and Homs.
The Armenian Evangelical Community as a whole has continued to provide aid to its people in various forms of assistance. As the war has brought about an incredible rate of inflation, the assistance being given by the church is more necessary than ever.
Bethel Polyclinic, which was established to assist people who are in need of medical check-ups, diagnosis and medication for chronic patients, has also continued their services free of charge.
Armiss Conservatory also continues its mission with a highly qualified teaching staff. This year, the Conservatory has accommodated thirty students, who are also members of Bethel Church and also students from Bethel Secondary School. The students learn solfege, piano, violin, guitar and flute.
We thank you so much for praying for us and for the whole country of Syria.
May the Lord Jesus Christ always be glorified in the lives of our churches.
Rev. Haroutune Selimian
President, Armenian Protestant Community in Syria
Despite the trauma our people in Syria have endured these past six years, these updates provide proof that your prayers and generosity have indeed made a difference.
So far, your gifts have provided:
- Food, water, heating and other basic necessities
- Medical assistance
- Educational assistance
- Resettlement in Armenia