Romanian Patriarchate urges support for Turkey-Syria earthquake victims

The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church decided to help the Orthodox communities in Syria and Turkey, severely affected by the devastating earthquake that occurred at the beginning of last week.

The earthquake affected the communities of the Patriarchate of Antioch in Alexandretta, Mersin and Antakia in Turkey, as well as the communities in Aleppo, Latakia and Hama in Syria.

The Romanian Patriarchate is organizing a fundraiser through its Help with joy platform, a tool also used for humanitarian purposes during the pandemic but also for the management of the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

The fundraiser runs until March 4, 2023. People who want to help can do so directly on the website or by bank transfer to the accounts below:

  • RO54 RNCB 0075 0048 9503 0091 (RON)
  • RO27 RNCB 0075 0048 9503 0092 (EURO),
  • RO97 RNCB 0075 0048 9503 0093 (USD).

The situation in Turkey and Syria

More than 37,000 people died in the earthquake in Syria and Turkey, and the number could rise until the end of the search.

Cities in Turkey are mainly isolated, and there are still people who have not been found and are trapped under the rubble.

The youth department of the Patriarchate of Antioch, led by Archimandrite Meletios Shattahi, a graduate of “Patriarch Justinian” Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest, is offering assistance to those affected by the earthquake in Syria, especially in the cities of Aleppo, Latakia and Hama.

Several places of worship were affected. Two churches in Antakia were destroyed by the earthquake and need to be rebuilt; another church in Iskenderun (Alexandretta) is partly destroyed; a church in Arsuz was destroyed.

The St. Elias Cathedral in Aleppo was damaged but not destroyed, and several families who have been left homeless are currently housed in the Aleppo Cathedral.

Another church affected is the church of St. George in Latakia, a port on the Mediterranean Sea in Syria.

Photography source: Antioch Patriarchate

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