Motilal Oswal
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Motilal Oswal
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Christianity grows in Syrian town once besieged by Islamic State

Updated : April 16, 2019 09:38 PM IST

A community of Syrians who converted to Christianity from Islam is growing in Kobani, a town besieged by Islamic State for months, and where the tide turned against the militants four years ago.The converts say the experience of war and the onslaught of a group claiming to fight for Islam pushed them towards their new faith. After a number of families converted, the Syrian-Turkish border town's first evangelical church opened last year.Islamic State militants were beaten back by US air strikes and Kurdish fighters at Kobani in early 2015, in a reversal of fortune after taking over swaths of Iraq and Syria. After years of fighting, US-backed forces fully ended the group's control over populated territory last month.Though Islamic State's ultra radical interpretation of Sunni Islam has been repudiated by the Islamic mainstream, the legacy of its violence has affected perceptions of faith.

People walk at a cemetery for SDF fighters killed during fightings with Islamic State militants in Kobani, Syria April 4, 2019. Picture taken April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
People walk at a cemetery for SDF fighters killed during fightings with Islamic State militants in Kobani, Syria April 4, 2019. Picture taken April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
Children stand together inside a damaged house in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
Children stand together inside a damaged house in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
A woman reacts at a grave of her daughter, an SDF fighter killed during fightings with Islamic State militants, at a cemetery in Kobani, Syria April 4, 2019. Picture taken April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
A woman reacts at a grave of her daughter, an SDF fighter killed during fightings with Islamic State militants, at a cemetery in Kobani, Syria April 4, 2019. Picture taken April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
A boy walks as he holds stacks of bread on his head in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
A boy walks as he holds stacks of bread on his head in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
A woman sits with children on a rubble from damaged buildings in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
A woman sits with children on a rubble from damaged buildings in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
Girls play together near a damaged tank along a street in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
Girls play together near a damaged tank along a street in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
A bird perches on a grave at a cemetery for SDF fighters killed during fightings with Islamic State militants in Kobani, Syria April 4, 2019. Picture taken April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
A bird perches on a grave at a cemetery for SDF fighters killed during fightings with Islamic State militants in Kobani, Syria April 4, 2019. Picture taken April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
Children play near damaged houses in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
Children play near damaged houses in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
Omar Firas, the founder of KobaniÕs evangelic church plays on an string instrument inside a church in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
Omar Firas, the founder of KobaniÕs evangelic church plays on an string instrument inside a church in Kobani, Syria April 3, 2019. Picture taken April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
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