Christians are disappearing from Syria
Idlib’s last Christian, 90-year-old Michel Butros al-Jisri, recently recalled the strife and war he faced over the past years that have pushed out the other Christians that used to live alongside him. The majority of the city’s residents left in 2015 when the opposition took control.
With no children, family or church congregation, Butros lives, worships and prays alone. He shared with Al-Monitor, “My family is from Idlib city. My family and I used to live here in this house, which became a part of me, and I shall not leave it, come what may. My brothers moved to live in Aleppo, while my father, his wife and I chose to stay.”
His parents have since died, but Butros remains steadfast in his commitment to his home.
Idlib was once home to a moderate Christian community that lived alongside the Muslim majority with little friction. A Greek Orthodox church was built in 1886 and a National Evangelical Church came years later, providing places for the minority Christians to worship.
Idlib governorate was once home to 10,000 Christians, but numbers began declining in 2012 and then drastically in 2015 when the opposition took over. Today, Christians account for less than 1% of Idlib’s residents.