During the past week Metropolitan Bishop of Latakia, Alber Athanasios Fahd who visited the churches in Antioch last week consecrated the Greek Orthodox Church in Yayladağı after restoration works. The church which was abandoned to its fate many years ago, was restored and has been brought to its former appearance.
The Greek Orthodox Church of Yayladağı, which was abandoned by its congregation after all the Christians in the city moved to the surrounding regions, was inactive for many years. Metropolitan Bishop of Latakia Fahd, during his visit to Antioch, consecrated and reopened the church. Antioch Orthodox Church Foundation President Fadi Hurigil, Altınözü Sarılar Orthodox Church Association President Münir Balıkçıoğlu, Antakya, Samandağ and Altınözü parish priests and some members of the Öner Family originally from Yayladağ were also present at the ceremony.
The metropolitan Fahd blessed the Altar of the church and its walls with prayers and hymns.
Metropolitan Bishop paid visits also to the local authorities
Latakia Metropolitan Athanasios Fahd met also with Governor of Yayladağı Tahir Yilmaz and Mayor of Yayladağı Mustafa Sayın.
Governor Yılmaz also expressed his gratitude to the Metropolitan Bishop and the President of the church foundation for their visit.
It is stated that in Yayladağı, there were approximately 20 Christian families until 1970s and this number decreased with each passing year. In 1990s no Christian remained in the city. According to the church officials, some of the Christians of Yayladağı migrated to Syria and some to Altınözü and İskenderun. (SAT-7 Türk/İlyas Edip TERBİYELİ-İskenderun)