Deep in the Syrian countryside, the villages are real multi-faith fabrics, where several Christian Churches and Muslim communities live together. This is the case of Al-Misherfieh. Here, the Alawites live alongside the Maronites and the Greek Orthodox.
But the lungs of each community, as everywhere in the East, are the parish centres, which are places of life, reunion and ceremonies for the Christians of the village. By providing a place for all Christians to meet, the village will be able to count on united communities.
In Al-Misherfieh, the construction of a parish centre began in 2019, with the help of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient. But the covid and the Caesar law got the better of the project. Today, the association wants to breathe new life into the project.
For those Christians who have lived through war and jihadist abuses, coming together in community is vital. For the children who have only known confrontation, it is time to build a new future, based on solid roots. For the clergy, who have carried the inhabitants at arm’s length during these difficult years, finding a semblance of peace is a necessity.
Of the future parish centre, the Christians of Al Mishrefieh only know the four walls. It will house a school, a ceremony room and a youth centre. At the request of the Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Homs, Monsignor Georges Abu Zakhem, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient went to the site in 2019 to begin the construction of the building.
Today, everything remains to be done: installing the windows, installing the electricity, equipping the interior, laying the slabs of the outer courtyard. For this year alone, the work required €25,000, which was largely donated by President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (+) and his wife Anne-Aymone.
Once the work is completed, the volunteers will help the village inhabitants by giving French lessons.
Everything remains to be done in this remote Syrian village. Supporting this project means giving a new impetus to Christians deprived of a meeting place and exhausted by years of suffering. It is to allow them to find the spiritual resources necessary to remain on site and ensure a Christian presence.
During the war, we understood the importance of our role in the reconstruction of society. Through our work and our presence, we offer an essential Christian witness.