A worshiper receives communion as he attends a service at the Syrian Saint Sarkis Church for Armenian Orthodox in Damascus to celebrate the Armenian Christmas on January 6, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / STR)
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A small congregation of Armenian Orthodox Christians prayed for peace at a Christmas service in Old Damascus and reflected on the hardships of living in an uneasy middle ground in Syria's increasingly sectarian conflict.They lamented a low turnout compared to previous years – many have fled Syria and others were unable to get through a maze of checkpoints and traffic bottlenecks to reach the church of St. Sarkis for Armenian Christmas, celebrated on Jan. 6 . Syria's Christians, around 10 percent, occupy an uneasy middle ground.An estimated 100,000 Armenians live in Syria, many the descendants of displaced Armenians from the early 20th century Ottoman wars.Some Armenians have also tried to escape by repatriating to Armenia, but community leaders say many of those have returned.
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