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Church in Richmond to put on Christmas dinner for Syrian refugees

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As we start to take down the Christmas lights, some new arrivals are preparing to put up their own decorations.

An Armenian Christian church in Richmond is set to host a Christmas dinner in just less than two weeks time for Syrian refugees it’s sponsoring.

The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas on January 6.

And on the weekend following that date, St. Gregory Church in Richmond will welcome up to 30 Syrian-Armenian families it is sponsoring, to celebrate the occasion.

“We’re trying to process more applications, because the need is there,” says Eddie Papazian with the church. “We just have to get them out of that country, out of that situation. It’s a private sponsorship. It’s not part of the federal push for the government sponsored [refugees].”

He says the election result has sped up his church’s ability to bring over Syrians of Armenian heritage who have been stuck in Lebanon and other countries in the region in less than ideal environments.

“With a change of the federal government and the prime minister’s policy of expediting things, that’s helped things move along,” says Papazian. “Most of our applications are going to be processed within [the next month or two].”

Papazian points out these refugees will have financial support primarily from the congregation, not the government.