Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo Butros Kassis opens Church buildings and shelters for earthquake survivors, says Syriac Orthodox Patriarch will visit affected areas soon

HOLEB, Syria — The devastating earthquake that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria led to massive destruction. In Syria, it mostly affected the bigger cities of Holeb (Aleppo), Edleb (Idlib), Hmoth (Hama), and Latakia.

In exclusive comments to our news desk, the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Holeb and its Environs, Mor Butros Kassis, stated that Monday’s massive earthquake led to the partial or complete destruction of many buildings in Holeb (Aleppo). It created widespread panic among residents. “During the earthquake, I was in the Archdiocese’s headquarters. I inspected the house for the elderly and the dormitory of the university students and led them down to the safer cellars,” the Archbishop said. 

The Archbishop, who was installed in October 2022, then visited Syriac families in the old and new Syriac neighborhoods (“Hayy al-Seryan”) and inspected the churches and monasteries there. “The churches and monasteries in Holeb are open as shelter for those affected and also for those afraid of possible aftershocks. We will try to provide all with heating, food, and water.”

Archbishop Mor Butros Kassis stated that Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II sent aid through the Saint Aphrem the Syriac Patriarchal Development Office to the affected people in Holeb. The Archbishop stressed that the Patriarch is expected to visit the Syriac people in the region soon and closely inspect their situation. The Patriarch left Sweden Monday after a visit of several days to discuss the appointment of a new bishop.

Archbishop Mor Butros Kassis thanked everyone who has provided aid and the clergy from the various churches and charities. He prayed to God to end the suffering of the Syriac people and all Syrian and Turkish peoples.