Mortar attack on two Syrian churches: Damascus Archbishop says 'Our life is like a game of Russian roulette'

Nine people have died and at least 50 wounded after a mortar fire hit two churches in Damascus.

The shells fell on a neighbourhood on the edges of Damascus, hitting a Maronite church and nearby Catholic church on Sunday. 

"Part of the war in Syria is to live under indiscriminate bombing, a kind of Russian roulette which is always unpredictable," Maronite Archbishop, Samir Nassar Nassar told Fides News Agency, after the attack.

"The survivors bury the dead without having been able to treat the wounded since they lack means and competence," he said.

"They sink into silent prayer before the relics of martyrs, the seeds of faith."

Airstrikes by President al-Assad's government have killed 247 people to the east of Damascus in the last 10 days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The government's shelling is targeted at rebels as part of the ongoing civil war.

The death toll from the four year conflict has nearly reached a quarter of a million people and over 11 million have fled their homes.

Syrian Christians are frequently caught in the crossfire between the Assad government and the rebels in addition to suffering persecution at the hands of ISIS, who have captured significant areas of the country.

"In my country, Syria, Christians are caught in the middle of a civil war and they are enduring the rage of an extremist jihad," Jean-ClĂ©ment Jeanbart, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo recently said.

"It is unjust for the West to ignore the persecutions these Christian communities are experiencing."