Catholic families return to Damascus’ Christian quarter following war

Fifteen Catholic families are able to return to the Christian quarter of a suburb of Damascus, thanks to the reconstruction of their homes with the help of the Pontifical charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

The move will secure the Christian presence in the place where, according to one tradition, the Apostle Paul was converted.

The Darayya suburb of Damascus became a centre of the uprising against the Assad government, with rebel groups and government troops clashing in heavy fighting for four long years. By the time an agreement was reached to end the war, 90 percent of the city had been destroyed.

“In the years after 2016, many Muslims were able to return to the city and rebuild their homes. But many of the 150 Christian families who had lived there never returned, as their homes had been razed to the ground. Many have now moved to neighbouring towns, and some have emigrated to Europe or Canada,” explains Marco Mencaglia, project director of ACN.

The international charity recently committed to financially support the reconstruction of the homes of 15 Catholic families to secure the Christian presence in Darayya.