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Nov. 21, 2013 – One of the worst Christian massacres—complete with mass graves, tortured-to-death women and children, and destroyed churches—recently took place in Syria, at the hands of the U.S.-supported jihadi “rebels”; and the U.S. government and its “mainstream media” mouthpiece are, as usual, silent (that is, when not actively trying to minimize matters).
The massacre took place in Sadad, an ancient Syriac Orthodox Christian habitation, so old as to be mentioned in the Old Testament. Most of the region’s inhabitants are poor, as Sadad is situated in the remote desert between Homs and Damascus (desert regions, till now, apparently the only places Syria’s Christians could feel secure; 600 Christian families had earlier fled there for sanctuary from the jihad, only to be followed by it).
In late October, the U.S-supported “opposition” invaded and occupied Sadad for over a week, till ousted by the nation’s military. Among other atrocities, 45 Christians—including women and children—were killed, several tortured to death; Sadat’s 14 churches, some ancient, were ransacked and destroyed; the bodies of six people from one family, ranging from ages 16 to 90, were found at the bottom of a well (an increasingly common fate for “subhuman” Christians).
The jihadis even made a graphic video (with English subtitles) of those whom they massacred, while shouting Islam’s victory-cry, “Allahu Akbar” (which John McCain equates to a Christian saying “thank God”). Another video, made after Sadad was liberated shows more graphic atrocities.
What happened in Sadad is the most serious and biggest massacre of Christians in Syria in the past two years and a half… 45 innocent civilians were martyred for no reason, and among them several women and children, many thrown into mass graves. Other civilians were threatened and terrorized. 30 were wounded and 10 are still missing. For one week, 1,500 families were held as hostages and human shields. Among them children, the elderly, the young, men and women…. All the houses of Sadad were robbed and property looted. The churches are damaged and desecrated, deprived of old books and precious furniture… What happened in Sadad is the largest massacre of Christians in Syria and the second in the Middle East, after the one in the Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Iraq, in 2010.
In the Iraqi attack of 2010, al-Qaeda linked jihadis stormed the church during service killing some 60 Christian worshippers (see here for graphic images of the aftermath).
While the archbishop is correct that this is the “largest massacre of Christians in Syria,” it is but the tip of the iceberg of the persecution the nation’s Christian minority has suffered—including beheadings, church bombings, kidnappings, rapes, and dislocation of hundreds of thousands of Christians—since the war broke out (see Syria entries in monthly persecution series).
A month before Sadad, another ancient Christian region, Ma’loula, one of the world’s very few regions that still spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus, was besieged by the jihadis, its churches bombarded and plundered, its inhabitants forced to convert to Islam or die. The last words of one man who refused were: “I am a Christian, and if you want to kill me for this, I do not object to it.”
The archbishop concluded his statement concerning Sadad by asking: “We have shouted aid to the world but no one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers? I think of all those who are suffering today in mourning and discomfort: We ask everyone to pray for us.”
Serge Trifkovic—who hails from a European region especially acquainted with Islamic jihad—responds to the archbishop as follows:
That no “human consciousness” is to be found in the White House, or in the editorial offices of the leading Western media, is now a matter of well-established record. Just try searching for “Sadad” (or alternatively “Saddad”) on the websites of the Department of State or The New York Times. Ditto the leading European dailies, the CNN/BBC/RTF, the human-rights defending “NGOs” et al.
The problem, of which Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh appears unaware, is no longer in the Western elite’s mere indifference to the impending demise of Christianity in the lands of its birth, but in its active, ongoing, and open contribution to that demise. Cyprus (1974) and the Balkans (1991-9) provided the test, Iraq (2003-today) the conclusive proof. In Syria the Obama administration remains committed to supporting the rebels—ah, yes, only the “moderate” ones, like the Christian-murdering “Free Syrian Army” (discretion advised again), not “even though” the result will be the same, but precisely because it will be.
In one of the Arabic videos documenting the aftermath of the Sadad massacre, as the mutilated bodies of one family are drawn from a well (around :30 second mark), a middle-aged male relative, in tears, says:
The most precious in the whole universe [his family], are now gone, leaving me alone, but thank God I am still surrounded by these loving people who remain. I want to say, let people [the jihadis] return to their minds. The problems of the world can only be solved by knowledge and brains. Enough insanity, the nerves of the people are shredded. Enough, enough—return to your minds; you people, you humans—return to your humanity, enough crimes.
As a sign of the times, here is a Syrian, an “easterner,” evoking rationalism and humanity, products of the Christian West, at a time when the post-Christian West is governed by anything and everything—propaganda, emotionalism, mindless indoctrination—but the twain.
by Raymond Ibrahim, author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (Regnery, April, 2013) is a Middle East and Islam specialist, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
11/21/2013 Middle East Forum
Christians in Syria remain a target as rebels continue their attempt to oust the current government.
While U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook earlier this week declined to comment on religious minorities in Syria being persecuted, Fr. Nicholas Meyers has no such hesitation. Meyers, assistant pastor and youth pastor with St. John Orthodox Church in Memphis, Tennessee, offers firsthand knowledge of persecution of Christians north of Damascus.
According to Meyers, when the Free Syrian Army – the rebels – captured the Christian city of Maaloula, they told Christians to convert to Islam or die.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. Matthew 24:9
“While the rebels were in control the people were in hiding, of course; they wouldn’t come out of their homes. The nuns at the monastery had to hide in the caves literally,” he tells OneNewsNow. “And once the Syrian Army, the government army, came through and pushed the rebel forces of al-Qaida out, what was left was the desecration of two churches.”
Maaloula is one of several Christian towns where Aramaic is still spoken. The situation there is typical and, in fact, the city of Homs has been cleansed of Christians for a year now.
Meyers “It’s believed that there are Chechens who have come down, joined the Free Syrian Army, and that they’re possibly responsible for the abduction of two bishops April 22,” Meyers shares. “Their driver, a deacon, was shot and killed.”
Hundreds of thousands of Syrian Christians have been displaced and are in dire straits. Meyers is hopeful that Americans will become educated on the confused subject, but most importantly, pray as the church in Syria “is beset with trial after trial.”
Syria is listed as #11 on the World Watch List. Before the civil war, although meetings were monitored, Christians were respected in society. This is rapidly changing. Muslim Background Believers (Christians from a Muslim Background) face opposition from family and friends, and now from foreign extremist fighters and mercenaries.
Previously, Christians were persecuted for supporting the government, or not taking sides. Now a clear religious motive has been added by the influx of these foreign radicals. Many Christians have been abducted, physically harmed and killed, churches damaged or destroyed, and tens of thousands of Christians have fled.
This weekend, Christians in Syria will gather to pray and fast for the Day of Prayer for Syria.
“Without the church, Syria has no future,” a contact said last month about the horrendous conditions facing Christians inside the country and the refugees struggling in camps along the borders.
Some areas in the cities of Homs and Aleppo are being taken over by Muslim extremists, who are implementing Shariah law.
“We need food and medicines, but what our country needs most now is prayer. We have no option than to turn to God in this desperate situation. The most important thing the world can do for us now is pray,” says an Open Doors contact in Aleppo.
As a result of the turmoil and uncertainty, most churches in Syria will unite in prayer on Saturday in many places around the war-torn nation. This will be an extraordinary show of unity of Christian denominations in Syria, where the ongoing civil war has claimed more than 70,000 lives.
Syrian Christians are asking their brothers and sisters around the world to pray and fast with them on the Day of Prayer for Syria on Saturday.
A contact in Damascus says,
“The situation in Syria is really desperate. We will all pray together in Syria, but we need every Christian in the world to pray. Please pray that the problems will come to an end and those causing the problems will stop. Pray that Syria will find Jesus.”
Another church leader explains that others joining with Syrian Christians in prayer would be a big blessing:
“It is so powerful to pray like one family. It’s not that just our prayers aren’t enough for God, but if all the Christians in the world unite with one heart, we believe it will be a blessing for Syria and the whole earth. Words can’t describe how thankful we are that you will pray with us. We pray that God will bless everyone who is praying with us.”
“Join Christians in countries around the world who will pray for Syria on May 11,” says Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra. “Perhaps you can also pray in your churches the following day. Pour out your heart with pleas for the suffering Christians there. They are in need and asking for our prayers!”
Prayer requests from churches inside Syria include:
- Healing for the injured and comfort for those who have lost loved ones
- An end to the bloodshed
- The children, as their childhood has been stolen from them
- Unity and reconciliation among churches and denominations to continue
- Rootedness of Christians in their land without fear of violence
Christians of all denominations will gather in prayer to petition God to grant his mercy on Syria and to bring an end to violence,” reads a message issued by
the Syrian Christian community.
The prayer is focused on four main intentions: the return of peace, the liberation of all hostages, assistance for all children traumatized by the war, and humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees and displaced people.
In Syria, since it is too risky for people to move within the combat zones, Christians will hold local prayer gatherings in homes, churches and other meeting places, the message says. .
Given devastation and the tens of thousands of deaths the two-year civil war has wreaked, the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Syria has also been informally termed, “the prayer of a broken heart”.
“Peace in Lebanon, Syria and the Holy Land is a requirement for regional and international peace,” said Patriarch Gregory III Laham of the Church of Antioch in appealing for participation in the day of prayer. Peace allows for coexistence and human freedom, he said.
“Christians in Syria continue to suffer from the devastating effects of the two-year-old civil war including killings, kidnappings, homelessness, lack of food and shelter and closing of schools; they are also seeing God’s hand is at work as all denominations are joining in passionate prayer.”-Steve Ridgway, Open Doors USA interim President/CEO
PLEAD BEFORE THE LORD FOR HIS MERCY ON SYRIA
Please pray through these specific prayer requests sent by churches throughout Syria, including:
- The Church of the Nazarene
- The Armenian Catholic Church
- The Syriac Orthodox Church
- The Baptist Church
- The Roman Catholic Church
- The Silesian Church
- Multi-Denominations Group
- The Alliance Church
- The Presbyterian Church
- The Maronite Catholic Church
- And request from multiple Christian Leaders
To read their prayer request click here
PLEASE SHARE WITH OTHERS!