A Christmas of despair for Syrian Christian refugees in Lebanon

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The Washington Post reports: Not so many years ago, Christmas Day for the Kouriehs began with Mass at the village church. The family would return home for an afternoon feast of rice and meat with sides of salad and hummus.

Neighbors would stop by to extend holiday greetings. Children would play next to the Christmas tree.

That was before the Islamic State and other extremists started kidnapping Christians like the Kouriehs, before the relentless violence, before civil war tore apart their country.

That was before the Kouriehs had to flee Syria for their lives.

“It used to be beautiful there,” Joseph Kourieh, 57, recalled from the dilapidated apartment in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, where he, his wife and five of his grown children now live.

More than a million Syrians have taken refuge in neighboring Lebanon, a country of barely 4 million people that can hardly cope with the influx. Among the mostly Muslim refugees are hundreds and possibly thousands of Syrian Christian families that also endure the hardship and humiliation of displacement. [Continue reading…]

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