2017-12-05 10:41:00

Russia to help Christian, Muslim, Jewish refugees to return to Syria - Putin

Novo-Ogaryovo, December 5, Interfax - Russia will try to help not only Christian but also Muslim and Jewish refugees return to Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"We will also be helping members of other denominations, including those professing Islam, who, as we know very well, have also suffered very seriously at the hands of thugs, terrorists, and radicals. We will also be helping Jews, and some Jewish organizations have already asked us to help restore Jewish shrines," Putin said at a meeting with the heads of delegations of local Orthodox Churches.

Russia is maintaining "contact with members of the Jewish population in Syria, namely some Jewish organizations, from the United states, including from New York City," he said.

The situation in Syria is gradually changing, and the Syrian armed forces, supported by Russian troops, have liberated virtually the entire territory of the country, including places historically inhabited predominantly by Christians, Putin said.

"I believe the return of the Christian population of Syria could play a very important role," he said.

Putin mentioned the work of a special task force including members of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, who are tasked with compiling a catalogue of churches destroyed in Syria with a view to their restoration.