Saint Mary Church of the Holy Belt

Um Al-Zinnar is located in Bustan Al diwan in the city of Homs, the official name of the church is Saint Mary Church of the Holy Belt. It is considered one of the oldest churches in the world since it was built 59 A.D. The old church was originally a small cave made of pumice with capacity of just thirty worshippers, after the spread of Christianity, another church was built with basalt stones next to the old one and it became a place for practicing religion until it was demolished, and a new church was built to host 500 prayers.

The church took its name from the fact that it has a venerated Holy Girdle that is supposed to be a section of the belt of Virgin Mary, every year on the 15th of August during the Assumption of Mary feast, a March with the belt takes place touring the city. The church was renovated many times during its long history and in the modern era, it has an important status as a headquarter for the Syriac Orthodox Archbishopric and as a center for Christian pilgrims. As many of the city monuments, the church was damaged by the regime’s attacks during the Syrian revolution.

Text: Reem Lababidi

Maryam Bachich

" Story of Homs city"s photos

Lens Young Homsi group 

Lens Young Homsi group