DAMASCUS, Syria, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Syria has called on Christians to stay in the country, despite the ongoing civil war.
John X, the patriarch of Antioch, gave his first address ever in Damascus since he took over from the late Ignatius IV, ekathimerini.com reported Saturday.
"We Christians are in Syria and will remain here," he said. "We believe Christ is always present in this area, which is the birthplace of Christianity."
John also called on both sides of the Syrian civil war to accept each other and reach a compromise.