CWN - The leader of the Melkite Catholic Church has vowed that Syria’s Christian community will survive, despite the flight of hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Patriarch Gregory III Laham told BBC that over 450,000 Christians have fled during Syria’s civil war, out of a total Christian population of about 1.75 million. But the remaining members of the Christian minority are determined to persevere, he said. “We have to have a new vision, and that is our work as Christians,” the patriarch said.

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Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)