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World News

Christians called to rebuild ancient church destroyed by earthquakes in Turkey

by Donna Birrell

There’s a call for Christians across the world to help rebuild one of the oldest churches in the world which was destroyed by the earthquakes which hit Turkey and Syria earlier this month.

The domes and walls of Antioch Orthodox Church, known as Antakya Church, date back to the first century but were completely reduced to rubble.

It’s believed around 35 people from the church community died when the two quakes, measuring around 7.8 magnitude struck, just a few hours apart.

Sertac Paul Bozkurt, from the board of Antioch Church in Hatay said :

"Unfortunately our church was destroyed after the earthquake. All its walls have fallen down and it is not in the condition for prayers.

“Sadly Antakya is in great trouble. As the community here, of course, we are deeply sad, we are in great despair. We have big losses.

"This is the oldest church, the first church in the world. This is the place where Christianity was born. That is why we call on Christians from all over the world to help us rebuild the Antakya Church. This will be a long process. But we will rebuild our church and we will bring our community together again in this church."

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