Located in the heart of Yabroud city in the Qalamoun countryside area of the Governorate of Damascus, Our Lady’s Basilica is a historical church which is well known in the area. During the night of February 20, 2014, an armed gang broke into the Basilica of Our Lady of Yabroud.
The damage the basilica suﬀered was severe: there was debris everywhere; the frescoes around the walls of the churches were all destroyed. The interior fell victim to acts of barbarism and profanation. The jihadists smashed the crucifix, threw the icons on the ﬂoor, damaged liturgical books (e.g. ripping pages out of The Book of the Gospels) and destroyed the furniture. Then they burned the altar. The stolen objects are innumerable: chandeliers, air conditioning units, electric wires, windows and sound equipment. In addition, the parish pastoral centre was emptied of all its contents: chairs, tables and other kitchen items that can serve groups of up to 500 people at church functions.
The Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Jean Abdo Arbach of Homs, Hama and Yabroud reported how seriously his diocese was aﬀected. Dozens of churches were damaged or destroyed. As a rule the jihadists destroyed all Christian symbols: crosses, statues and liturgical items. Walls were riddled with gunfire and blasphemous inscriptions were daubed on them.