"DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Seventy-seven-year-old Mona Muzaber lights a candle for Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah at the Orthodox Church of the Cross in the center of Damascus.
"I love him. I never felt Nasrallah was a religious zealot. He is a patriot who doesn't seek personal gain," she said. "I light a candle daily for him to remain under God's protection."
Israel's offensive against Lebanon has brought Christians in neighboring Syria closer to Nasrallah, a Shi'ite Muslim, reviving Arab nationalist feelings and blurring sectarian divisions.
Bishops and priests say Syria's Christians, a devout community of around three million out of a population of 18 million, identify strongly with Nasrallah's battle with Israel, which has occupied Syria's Golan Heights since 1967.
"Pray for the resistance, pray for Hassan Nasrallah. He is defending justice," Father Elias Zahlawi told the congregation at special mass held at the Lady of Damascus, a Catholic church."