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Damage done to the Cathedral of Constantine and Helen

The damage done to ‘Syria’s oldest church’ seen first hand

In a visit to Yabroud earlier this month, The Telegraph saw the damage done to the Cathedral of Constantine and Helen.

Yabroud, which was a week ago considered the last terrorist bastion in the strategic mountainous Qalamoun area neighboring Lebanon, fell to the Syrian Army last Sunday, March 16, 2014.

The Greek Catholic Cathedral of Constantine and Helen in the rebel-held Yabroud, north of Damascus, dates back to approximately 200AD. It is born from the rocks of a pagan temple dedicated to the sun god Jupiter that is believed to have been built more than 1000 years before Christ.

The remains of a Roman temple to Jupiter Iabrudis was incorporated into the Byzantine church of Constantine and Helena. Emperor Constantine first legalised Christianity. His mother, Helena, followed up with the promotion of pilgrimage to the holy places associated with the life and death of Jesus.

Bombs planted in confessional box of Syrian church

Patriarch Gregorios III, Syria’s most senior Christian leader, says bombs were found at ancient Cathedral of Constantine and Helen in rebel-held town of Yabroud.

The Patriarch said that early on Tuesday morning, two remote controlled bombs were discovered planted in the church, one of them in the confessional box. Challenging the town’s image of harmony, he also claimed that local Christian families had been asked to pay a monthly protection tax of $35,000 by local “armed groups”.

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A camera tour by el-Nashra crew in the newly liberated town of Yabroud reveals how many Christian churches have been deliberately desecrated by Wahhabi terrorists from the Western-backed “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), the “moderate” Islamic Front, and their close allies from al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front).

The battle for Yabroud is over, but its Greek Catholic church has been savagely vandalised by its former rebel occupants, its streets carpeted with cartridge cases, its houses smashed with shell holes. Syria’s soldiers – along with a host of Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon – watched General Badi Ali raise the government flag on Monday, too late to save the beautiful frescoes slashed into ribbons by the men of the Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic Front in Syria’s oldest church.

In the first dispatch from Syria, Robert Fisk reports from the town of Yabroud – reoccupied at the weekend  by government forces – and witnesses the destruction and trauma caused by a brutal civil war.

On the march with Assad’s army: ‘Unusually, the Syrian army took rebel prisoners. Ominously, I saw none’

Destruction of Church in Yabroud by Obama Backed Opposition Terrorists

Robert Fisk Tours Yabroud: “No Doubt It’s Famous Victory”

Hundreds of Christian families determined to stay in Syria have moved to Homs, close to where some of the conflict’s worst violence has taken place. Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Jean Abdon Arbach of Homs said that significant parts of the city and the surrounding area are now “calm” but went on to warn of oppression of Christians in the rebel-held north of the country.

Syria: New ‘calm’ draws Christians to Homs

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