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Indian-American Christians condemn attack on Syria church head

Friday, Jun 24, 2016,11:27 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | Indian-American Christians have strongly condemned a suicide bomb attack on the head of an Orthodox church by Islamist militants in the northern Syrian border town of Qamishli.

The Federation of Indian American Christian Organisations of North America (FIACONA) condemned the attack on Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox church Ignatius Aphrem II, on June 20 in strongest terms, a statement said.

Syrian Orthodox church has a strong following among Indian Christians from the 1st century onwards and Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II is the leader of millions of Indian Christians. The attack was planned and carried out by Islamist militants during the commemoration of what is known as the Sayfo (Sword) massacre.

Several thousand Christians were killed in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire during the Sayfo massacre. Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II was leading the commemoration of the 1915 Sayfo massacre at the time of attack. Though the Patriarch escaped unharmed, several people are reported to have been killed in the suicide bomb attack.