5/01/2005

Happy Easter


Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter today (while Catholics celebrated it on March 27). The difference is due to the use of two methods for calculating the date of Easter. Orthodox churches use the Julian Calendar, while Catholic and Protestant Churches use the Gregorian Calendar. There have been various attempts to reach a common date for Easter. In 1997, a meeting in Aleppo sponsored by the World Council of Churches and the Middle East Council of Churches and attended by various representatives of Eastern and Western Churches, issued what has been known as "The Aleppo Statement" which urged all churches to start celebrating Easter on a common date beginning in 2001. However, the suggestion was never implemented and the issue is still a matter of great concern, especially for Middle Eastern Christians, who believe it should be addressed seriously and urgently.

The picture above shows a new Church in a suburb of Damascus that stands as a wonderful symbol of unity among Syrian Christians. The Church of Saint Paul and Saint Peter in the suburb of Dummar is the first church to serve both Orthodox and Catholic communities. It was inaugurated last February by Beatitude Ignatius IV, Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Gregorius III, the Melkite Catholic Patriarch. Will the event inspire church leaders to reach a common date of Easter?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

??????? ?????? from Greece my freind

Haidar said...

Oh this was in mashroo3 dummar? What jazira?

Rami said...

WOW! What a beautiful church (I still prefer the old ones though).
As for the difference between Orthodox and Catholic churches regarding holiday dates, I think it is SHAMEFUL.
I also believe that the majority of Mid-East Christians don’t really understand the reason behind it, and don’t really care when the date is set. We hope that church leaders will realize one day that church unity is much more important than meaningless dates.
Kudos to everybody who participated in building this church….
And thank you Ayman for the post

Omar said...

great info Ayman. The church is beautiful, is this the only chruch that serves Orthdox and Catholics? at least in the middle east? If it is, then this project is surely a great step forward

Amr Faham said...

we took a remarcable note on this church in a lecture few weeks ago: they wanted to establish only a church but the soil was so loosy they had to reach the stiff layer that's why they diged; with an extra depth of about 10m, they decided to add a monastry under the church!
i think this church was designed by Josef Abu Hadid (allah yerhamo)

Anonymous said...

There are several churches in Syria which serves the 2 communities,specialy orthodox and catholcis of byzantine tradition.(Roum)
Unfortunately the christian population in Syria has dwindled from 17 % in the 60's to about 5 % today.

Helen said...

Great idea to have one church, all we need now is to say that we are christian, full stop and pray like one.

Anonymous said...

wow, very nice church! I'm truley impressed. While this might sound a bit idealistic, it would be wonderful if there was a place where both muslims and christians, and maybe even jews if they still exist in syria, to all pray together or under one roof. Something like what the ommayad mosque used to be.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's a very beautiful church! While i'm muslim, i was excited to see this church. for some reason, i had a feeling like christians were becoming less and less by the day, and to see this new church built gave me a feeling that they still have a strong presence. by the way, why is the christian population become less and less? And if anyone knows, how many jews are there in damascus?
Nice post as usual ayman!

Oz said...

I've exactly the same pic, taken from the begining of the descending highway from dumar, not so far from my house!

GottfriedStutz said...

Unfortunately, to follow up on Anonymous' wish, there are very few Jews remaining. Although I personally believe that prayer is everywhere, and that there is no specific place for it, I join you in hoping that all Syrians (Muslims, Christians, Jews, even non-believers or believers in other religions) would be able to pray under the same roof.

When I explain to non-Syrians the great degree of harmony there is in Syria among different religions, they find it hard to believe.

One more thing: I wouldn't mind two Easter days. That would be celerating twice and... having two days off :-)

Anonymous said...

haha, good point!

Anonymous said...

can you please give us information about the man who pay the money for this church...he is a rich man..he has paid 40 million lira for this church...