Christians in the town of Artuklu in Mardin, started their Christmas celebration by lighting a fire in the yard of the Kırklar Church.
The presence and heating of baby Jesus in the cave where He was born was represented by this fire in the ritual led by Mardin and Diyarbakır Metropolitan Saliba Özmen and Archbishop Gabriel Akyüz in the Church of Kırklar.
Candles were lighted at the ceremony where the men’s choir and spiritual leaders did procession around the fire, and women’s choir recited hymns. The clergymen and faithful prayed for the peace in the world. The liturgy and readings were in Syriac, Arabic and Turkish. Metropolitan Saliba Özmen, prayed for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and all the nation, wishing health and wellness to everyone.
The Mardin Metropolitan Municipality also congratulated the Syriac community for Christmas and distributed gifts in the church yard.
We Are Always Working for the Peace in the Region
Later, Mardin Governor and Deputy Mayor Mustafa Yaman came to the reception hall of the church and congratulated the Syriac community for Christmas.
Mustafa Yaman emphasized that the Syriacs contribute to the peace both in the region and Mardin, saying: “Syriacs are also with us for the unity and solidarity of our country, the peace and security of our city and our region and they pray for this goals. Under the auspices of our Presidency, our local governors and security forces, Turkish, Kurdish, Arab and Syriac citizens are working together for the peace of the region. May God increase our unity, solidarity, unity, peace and security.”
Our Country is Very Valuable
Metropolitan Özmen said that all the festivals in Mardin were celebrated with enthusiasm.
Pointing out that they prayed in 3 languages in the church, Saliba Özmen said:
“We prayed for health and well-being for all the senior officials of our state, especially our President. It is a very important event especially for our country. Because our country is very valuable, we have a very beautiful country. A country is strong with its army, strong with its politics, strong with its people. We are all proud of being in Mardin and in our country.”
Brigadier General Burhan Aktas, Provincial Gendarmerie Commander Brigadier General Halil Sen, Deputy Governor Bahattin Celik and Provincial Director of National Education Sehmus Sumer and citizens attended the congratulation ceremony held in the reception hall of Kirklar Church. (Mardinsoz.com)