ALEPPO (Press Shia Agency) – A New Year’s Day church service was held for the first time in nearly five years in Deir Mar Elias Church in the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo, which was recently liberated by government forces and their allies.

According to Press Shia Agency dispatches, the New Year’s Day service was held on Sunday in the rubbles of Deir Mar Elias Church ruined by foreign-backed militants.

Large groups of Christians attended the ceremony for the first time since liberation of Aleppo from the Takfiri groups to promote peace and security in the Arab country.

The Rev. Elias Adas, a Maronite priest who is running a health facility in Aleppo, said he was happy that the city was recaptured from the terrorists after five years. 

He told Press Shia Agency that they had organized the ceremony in the rubbles to show they were ready to help rebuild the country even better than before.

In a statement on December 22, Syria’s army announced it has regained full control over Aleppo, clearing the city from foreign-backed terrorist groups after a four-year battle.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.