Greek Orthodox community grapples with quake aftermath

Greek Orthodox community grapples with quake aftermath

Father Pavlos holds a white marble cross as he stands on the rubble of a collapsed Orthodox church in Antakya in Turkey’s Hatay province in the aftermath of the February 6 earthquakes. Erected in the 14th century, the church was rebuilt in 1872 after a previous quake. When disaster struck, the 31-year-old priest was in Balamand in northern Lebanon. On his return he found virtually all buildings in the area had been reduced to debris. “When the church fell, I also lost a part of myself. It was our home, our castle, the square where all Christians came together,” he says. He conducted 38 funerals of Orthodox community members in five days. He is currently in Mersin province, helping to coordinate the humanitarian aid for the Christian Orthodox community. [Alexandros Avramidis]

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