by Stoyan Zaimov
"The almost communal wave of youth emigration, especially in Syria, but also in Lebanon and Iraq breaks my heart, wounding me deeply and dealing me a deadly blow," Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III said in an open letter, according to Catholic Herald.
"Given this tsunami of emigration ... what future is left for the Church? What will become of our homeland? What will become of our parishes and institutions?" Gregorios asked.
Christians in Syria have found themselves in the crossfire of a four-year-old war between President Bashar al-Assad and various rebel groups seeking to take down his regime. They have been the victims of major bombings that have destroyed countless churches and entire neighborhoods in cities throughout the country.
Christians have also been heavily targeted by the Islamic State terror group, which has kidnapped hundreds of Assyrians in numerous raids, demanding ransoms for the victims and threatening the women with being turned into sex slaves.
As many as 450,000 Christian Syrians have fled their homes since 2011, and are now either internally displaced or living abroad as refugees, the Herald noted...