Syrian Pastor Tells Of Life On The Front Line In Aleppo


From 500 families to 140 members – the story of one church congregation in Aleppo illuminates the harrowing situation of the war-torn city. 

A Syrian pastor has given an insight into what life is like for him and his people on the front lines of the brutal civil war.

Rev Ibrahim Nseir is the pastor of the Arab Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Aleppo, based very close to the fighting. He says his church has dwindled in numbers, but he refuses to leave.

He spoke to the BBC to give an idea of what life was like in a battle zone that has seen much of the city wrecked.

"They are attacking us because they don't want Christians in this country," he said of the rebels, who he described as "terrorists". "They are trying to establish Islamic State, which is far away from any kind of civilisation".

"Seventy-five per of the Christians have left, either legally or illegally," he said. "They wanted us far away from this country. We've lived in this country for long, long decades, peacefully."

The pastor did not criticise the regime of President Assad, who is seen by many Syrian Christians as their protector, in spite of the violence perpetrated by his forces on other groups.

He continued: "The Christians are called the salt of the world, according to Jesus Christ, our Lord. We are called to carry the cross and we are carrying the cross of this country." When he was asked about prospects for the future he said, "I am called to serve Jesus Christ, I am not called to condemn any people... I believe always there is resurrection – although sometimes we experience death, yet at the same time at the end we will have resurrection. Resurrection is coming to Aleppo."