March 9, 2023

The Antiochian Church is Playing a Key Role in Aiding the Victims of the Earthquake and the West Should help

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by Hadeel Oueis, Senior Research Fellow

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, John X, stated to the congregation last Sunday during Meatfare Sunday in Lebanon that Antioch had been emptied of its already diminishing Christian community following the devastating earthquake that rocked southeast Turkey and northwestern Syria.

Antioch has a special significance for the Levantine Christians, particularly the Greek Orthodox and Melkite Greek Catholics, often known as Rum. The city, whose majority of residents were from Levantine Greeks, eventually grew hostile to Christians during centuries of concerted campaigns of Islamization, Arabization, and, more recently, Turkification, and is now completely devoid of its indigenous people as a result of the earthquake.

Indeed, no one can be blamed for a natural disaster, but the city’s building, which has a history of earthquakes, did not fulfill any safety regulations, which explains why the entire city was wiped out…