The Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Mary and the Christian school of Al-Wahda were destroyed in Deir Ezzor, a town of Mesopotamian Syria, which is at the center of fighting between the Syrian government and insurgents that has caused an exodus of the civilian population.
According to the Fides news agency, Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Eustathius Matta Roham, Metropolitan of "Jazirah and Euphrates, explained that "it is a very sad day for me and for the whole community."
The two buildings were destroyed in the crossfire between the army and rebel groups.
Mesopotamia is experiencing a "slow death", according to local sources, and the entire civilian population (Muslim Arabs and Kurds, Christians, and other groups) are paying a very high price.
Archbishop Matta Roham said, "This fierce war is above all a war against our civilization. It is a conflict where everyone loses, in the destruction of our beloved country. If the rebels or the regime think they can win, in the end, I think we will only have a country in ruins, with thousands of orphans, widows, poor people and especially destabilized by enmity in society."
The archbishop addressed the contending parties in the fraticidal warfare in Syria, saying "Who will rebuild all that we have built over decades of hard work? And how long will it take? Who will build deteriorated social relations? We ask for the prayers of all Christians in the world, in order to regain peace in Syria."
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.