A picture taken on June 12, 2017 in the village of Banias in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights shows a general view of a church. AFP / JALAA MAREY
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When about a hundred Arab Christians recently attended Mass at the small church at Ain Qiniye in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, it was a turnout not often seen there.Before that, says Assaf Adib, 57, about 600 Christians and 300 Druze lived in the village, but with the outbreak of war most of the Christians fled westward to the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms area along the Lebanon-Israel cease-fire line.In Ain Qiniye today, he says there are 1,800 Druze while the Christian population has shrunk to the 12 members of his family. "My father and my uncle followed the Druze families and went to take refuge in Majdal Shams".They were allowed to return to Ain Qiniye with the Druze after the war but the other Christians were unable to get back home and were left in Syria or Lebanon. Today, about 22,000 Syrian Druze live on the Israeli-occupied side of the heights as well as 25,000 Israeli settlers who moved in after 1967 .
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