Christians in Syrian town celebrate Christmas amid extreme fear

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Christians in Syria

Christians in Syrian town Sadad, celebrate Christmas amid fear of terror group Islamic State’s possible advance.

According to details, Christians living in a Syrian town Sadad are about to celebrate Christmas despite threats from the terror group ISIS. In the wake of severe threats majority of Christian residents of the ancient Syriac Orthodox-Christian majority town have already fled. However, those who still remaining are celebrating a somber Christmas as fierce battles with ISIS rage close by.

All the while ISIS advances steadily, a Christian resident 65-year-old Youssuf, who has already sent his family away to a safer location says, “I haven’t put up a Christmas tree in my house for the past four years because the situation does not allow us to, and because I can’t find a place for joy in my home.” Appalled by chilly Syrian winter, he says sadly, “Dozens of people have died in this village; how could I put up decorations or hand out holiday sweets?”

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Almost all the historic churches in this town had been caught up in the crossfire previously, when the Syrian regime and rebels battled for the control of Sadad two years ago. Despite the fact that the government forces finally gained control of the town, the residents are under attack from ISIS.

The town mayor of Sadad, Sleiman Khalil said, “What is special about Christmas this year is the imminent threat that Sadad is facing, and the bitter memories that have come back to us. Now, we’re afraid it will happen again with fighters from Daesh,” he said. Out of nine churches in Sadad, only three are operational now.

Priest Mtanyos Melhem Stouf says, “our youth, who at this time of year used to be busy decorating a big tree in the middle of the village, but who are now busy protecting our front lines.”