ALEPPO — The Forty Martyrs Armenian Church of Aleppo has been destroyed due to bombing according to reports from Armenian community sources in the North Syrian city.

The Forty Martyrs church origin dates back to 15th century which was mentioned in 1476, in the second edition of the book The Exploit of the Holy Bible, written by Father Melikseth in Aleppo. The current building of the Church was built and completed in 1491 to replace a small chapel in the old Christian cemetery of the Jdeydeh quarter. The Church was named in honour of a group of Roman soldiers who faced martyrdom near the city of Sebastia in Lesser Armenia, and were all venerated in Christianity as the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste.

The Italian explorer Pietro Della Valle who visited Aleppo in 1625, has described the Church as one of the four Churches that were built adjacent to each other in one yard with one gate, in the newly created Jdeydeh Christian quarter. The other three Churches are the Greek Orthodox Church of the Dormition of Our Lady, the Holy Mother of God Armenian Church (the current Zarehian Treasury) and the old Maronite Church of Saint Elias.

During the 2nd half of the 20th century, the interior of the Church underwent massive renovations to meet with the requirements of traditional Armenian Churches.

The destruction of the Forty Martyrs Church comes about four months after the bombing of Armenian Catholic Cathedral St. Rita church which was partly destroyed. In September 2014, ISIS destroyed the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor.

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