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Turkiye's aid agency renovates, reopens Lebanon Orthodox church 

Newly renovated Orthodox church in Lebanon 14 June 2022 [Anadolu Agency]
Newly renovated Orthodox church in Lebanon, 14 June 2022 [Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye's state-run aid agency, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has supported the renovation and reopening of an Orthodox church in Lebanon, built 170 years ago.

The agency, in cooperation with the Kfeir Greek Orthodox Church Foundation, which runs the eponymous church, carried out the refurbishments on the historical church in the small village of El-Kfeir, situated in the Nabatiyeh governorate. The village, close to Lebanon's southern border with Israel is home to some 10,000 people, mostly Druze and Christians.

The nave, which seats 300 people and is usually the largest and principal part of a church, was renovated by TIKA, who also worked on its roof and installed air conditioning inside the place of worship.

An opening ceremony was held on Sunday and was attended by TIKA and church officials, Turkish Ambassador to Beirut, Ali Baris Ulusoy, the village's mayor.

Ulusoy was quoted as saying: "TIKA has implemented this project in cooperation with the Greek Orthodox Church Foundation, which is experiencing difficulties in fundraising in the context of the economic crisis that Lebanon is going through."

"Thanks to the contributions of TIKA, the bell tower of the church was renovated. The 300-seat hall, which was used as a condolence and meeting place, was renovated. Also, necessary air conditioners were installed in the hall."

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Kfeyr Greek Orthodox Church Pastor Bukran Kostayek also expressed gratitude to the Turkish Embassy in Beirut and the Lebanese TIKA office, as well as the Turkish people and the government for their support to Kfeyr.

Kostayek also presented a plaque of thanks to Ulusoy and TIKA's Coordinator of Lebanon, Orhan Aydin.

READ: Travel advisories about Turkiye related to different international motives: Foreign Ministry

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