PARK SLOPE - Many congregants gathered to celebrate Christmas Day Mass at the Church of the Virgin Mary in Park Slope. 

Many of the parishioners of the Melkite church have Middle Eastern backgrounds, and have come from countries like Egypt and Syria.

Rev. Antoine Rizk says the current unrest in the Middle Esat makes it even more important for people to come together.

"We try to be in solidarity with our families and friends over there," he says. " As I said, we are deeply affected and many of our parishioners they still have family over there and friends."