Christians in northeastern Syria seek to revive Easter spirit following IS ouster

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Ammar Hamou:DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images A priest blesses worshippers during an Orthodox Easter service at the Church of St. Jacob in the Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishli in northeastern Syria, April 28, 2019.

Christians in Syria on April 28 celebrated their first Easter following the declaration of the defeat of the Islamic State (IS). The militant group had taken the province of Raqqa as its main stronghold in recent years, and had committed atrocious crimes against Christians in Raqqa and in Hasakah province. The Eastern Orthodox church celebrated Resurrection Sunday on April 28. Catholics and Protestants, who observe the Western Christian liturgical calendar, had observed Easter on April 21. Despite the activities and events organized by churches and religious associations in northeastern Syria, Christians are far from getting their normal lives back. Gabriel Moshe Kourieh, the head of the Assyrian Democratic Organization, said, “Christians will regain normal life only when stability and security are instilled as part of a secular democratic regime for all Syrians.” Read more: