Saturday, July 1, 2017

Last Christians of Golan Heights endure

When about a hundred Arab Christians recently attended Mass at the small church at Ain Qiniye in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, it was a turnout not often seen there. Few Christians remain on the Israeli-held part of the strategic plateau northeast of the Sea of Galilee, where Christians believe Jesus walked on water.


 Only two isolated Christian families still live there, according to the families themselves and a researcher on the Golan Heights. Their churches open rarely, such as for a recent solidarity visit by 1948 Palestinians from the Israeli cities of Haifa and Nazareth.

Without such visits and the perseverance of the Adibs, the last Christian family left in the village of Ain Qiniye, the Maronite church perched on hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee would have faded into oblivion.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometers of the Golan from Syria in the war of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.

Before that, says Assaf Adib, 57, about 600 Christians and 300 Druze lived in the village, but with the outbreak of war most of the Christians fled westward to the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms area along the Lebanon-Israel cease-fire line...
  [elkaos.gr/AFP]
30/6/17

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