Although coronavirus has closed churches, North and East Syria’s Christians still mark Good Friday

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA – Today, on Good Friday according to the Eastern Rite of Christianity, the day of Christ’s crucifixion, the Syriac Union Party (SUP) in Syria chose to commemorated this day in a manner that is commensurate with the current situation in the region.

The spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 around the world has caused the suspension of all celebrations and gatherings and churches remain closed to their worshipers. On Good Friday, or the Friday of Pain as it is also called, the memory of Christ’s crucifixion is central in Christian thought.

In conjunction with the current precautionary situation in Syria, the SUP, in all areas of Hasakah, Zalin (Qamishli), Dayrik (Al-Malikiyah), and Qabre Hewore, launched motorcades marked with black ribbons and banners emblazoned with words of grief and crosses which broadcast via loudspeaker Good Friday hymns. The motorcades broadcast pleas asking God to remove the pandemic from His people and the world and called on the people of the region to abide by the curfew imposed by the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) and remain in their homes.

Not allowed to express their worship in churches during the holiest time of year for Christians due to the ongoing pandemic, candles were lit in the street to mark the holiday creating something of a decentralized mass. Despite enduring the hardship of a decade of war and now a global pandemic, there remains a sense of perseverance, and a strong faith, in the Christian community of North and East Syria.