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Syrian Catholic Priest Abducted

Father Jacques Mourad with the Syriac Catholic Church abducted

Father Jacques Murad with the Syriac Catholic Church abducted

Fr. Jacques Murad kidnapped; he belonged to the same community of Father Paolo Dall’Oglio

(Agenzia Fides) – Priest Jacques Murad[Mourad], Prior of the Monastery of Mar Elian, was abducted by two kidnappers at the Monastery under the threat of arms. According to some local sources, contacted by Agenzia Fides, the seizure most probably took place on Monday, May 18, while other sources claim that the priest was kidnapped on Thursday May, 21. The news was confirmed today by the Syrian Catholic Archdiocese of Homs, that asked all the faithful to invoke the Lord in prayer so that father Jacques is released and can return to his life of prayer, to serve his brothers and all Syrians.

According to some local sources, it is believed that also deacon Boutros Hanna was kidnapped, too. But this rumor has not been confirmed by the Syrian Catholic archdiocese of Homs.

According to preliminary reports, the kidnapping was carried out by two armed men on motorbikes who arrived at the Monastery of Mar Elian. The abductors forced father Jacques to get in his car and, under the threat of weapons, forced him to go to an unknown destination.

Local sources consulted by Fides speculate that behind the kidnapping there are Salafi groups in the area, who felt strengthened by the recent success of the jihadists of al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Syrian territory.

Father Jacques Murad is the Prior of the Monastery of Mar Elian and pastor of the community in Qaryatayn, 60 km southeast of Homs. The monastic settlement, located on the outskirts of Quaryatayn, is a branch of the Monastery of Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, refounded by the Italian Jesuit Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio, who was also kidnapped on July 29, 2013 while he was in Raqqa, the Syrian capital for years under the control of the jihadist of the Islamic State.

In the years of conflict, the city of Qaryatayn was repeatedly conquered by anti-Assad militias and bombed by the Syrian army. It was father Jacques, along with a Sunni lawyer, who acted as mediators to ensure that the urban center of 35 thousand inhabitants was spared for long periods by armed clashes.

The Monastery hosted hundreds of refugees, including more than a hundred children under ten years of age. Father Jacques and his friends provided to find the bare necessities for their survival even by seeking the help of Muslim donors. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 22/05/2015)

  • Please pray for his release and Christians in Syria.

Rebels Claim Assad Used Chlorine Gas Again: It’s Time To Hold The World Accountable For These Atrocities

chlorinegasattacksyriaSyria’s President Assad has been in the news again, accused of using Chlorine gas on innocent civilians yet again.  Reuters is reporting that these new accusations came after Assad announced his bid to run for president in June.  Also after his announcement there were 2 incidents of bombings one in Homs and the other in Damascus.  Killing at least 50 people, including children.  These areas are government held areas at the moment.  I say at the moment because they were once held by rebels.  According to our sources  this is a game that has been played by both sides.  The Government forces pulled out of Homs at one time and allowed a rebel takeover that killed a number of Christians.  President Assad has protected Christians in the past, so these areas when given over to rebels saw a huge massacre of Christians and innocent civilians.

I have to question the accusation of Assad using Chemical weapons at this point.  He has been under pressure to give up his arsenal, and he is under the microscope of the UN and other western powers.  It is the general opinion of those from there, that Assad did not do this.  I find it hard to believe as he just announced he is running again for President.  And we know that the rebels have had access to chemical weapons plants, and we know that they have been aided by western governments militarily and financially.  Turkey has even proven to aid the traffic of rebels into Syria from foreign lands.  Coming into Syria for ‘Jihad’.

Assad has had his share of blood on his hands.  He is a dictator in a brutal part of the world.  And he has ties to Iran.  However isn’t it time the world holds the rebels accountable and those countries that support them?  It has been said that Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are aiding these rebels.  I say it’s time the media and officials demand accountability and stop the shedding of innocent blood.  It’s time to say enough.  Pray for the people of Syria, pray for our brothers and sisters there.  It was just recently that the rebels brutally murdered a priest.

Priest killed in syria

A priest that was helping both sides.  A priest that stood for peace and freedom.  And that doesn’t include the thousands of Christians who have been slaughtered unmercilessly.  We can’t forget the memory of those who have died in this brutal cleansing.  And don’t forget the pictures of crucifixion mocking Jesus that are surfacing also.  So the rebels who are spotless claim Assad used Chemical weapons and we should believe them why?  Again, it’s time to demand accountability from our Government and other Western and Middle eastern governments.

Peaceful Angels – The story of Syrian Christians who suffer the ultimate price


The Christian village of Al Duwair is located northwest of Homs, on the Eastern Bank of the Orontes River in Syria. In May of last year, this peaceful village was savagely attacked by Islamic radical groupsincluding (Haqq brigade, Sunni Lions brigade , Jabhat Al Nusra, Free Liberation Army — Al Farroq brigade). See more

Recently, we have been in touch with a Christian brother who has been directly affected by persecution in Syria. He has suffered the greatest loss anyone can experience, his family. Below he shares of the fateful days that have changed his life forever. VOP is asking for you to please keep our dear brother, Kamil in your prayers. And pray for the much needed peace in Syria. Lord have mercy on them.

In many cases we see tremendous acts of courage, bravery and fortitude in people being able to cope with terrible situations. Sadly true as long as there has been a true war, but what has happened is a barbaric action which is probably unavoidable even by brave people.

I am not going to delve into the whole scene there which is becoming common and clearly known for everyone, but I need to shed the light on some of the horrifying facts which happened on 28 May 13 in my Village ( Duwair).

On that date, my village was sentenced to death and destruction by the militants who ruined every part of village and massacred the peaceful residents savagely.

They did not come for freedom, they were not liberators or cause defenders, they were monsters in the true sense of the word, bigots injected with contempt and poisonous sectarianism. With all bitterness the victims were my family, my father and sister,” the peaceful angels” as I would call them.  ”Every time, I phoned them to Syria, they replied, we are Ok and nothing to fear, do not worry about us, no one would harm us, we are peaceful people”. They were the scapegoat of the killers who massacred them with cold blood then burnt them with full disgrace. Was the small village rolled into the vortex of destruction for political reason? Absolutely No, It was attacked primarily for the sole reason of being neutral and peaceful without hiding the fact that most of the locals are Christians.

Words are insufficient to describe the extent to which my father was united with his land and home. He did not agree to leave his home despite the ongoing violence, fully convinced that the current turbulence is soon to end. He did not know that extremism would reach his home to blacken the white and make the black darker.

Undoubtedly, my father was a patriotic man ,I got to remember all his talks when he was telling me that I have to return back home to continue my life in Syria and to care for our house who built tirelessly over the years and to water the olive trees whose leaves speak volumes about the hard work and determination. His story with the land is silent, comprehensive friendship, an intercourse beyond the need of words. Through the keen morning air, keeping time to the pulsing of  the heart that is moved with the same eager desire—to conquer space, to devour the distance, to attain the goal of the journey. He entered with open eyes and brave heart the final stadium of the journey as he was always telling me: When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero.. He was peaceful as a dove, stronger than a stone, passionate than a mother.     

Near the strong will father ,She scented the danger; it was not in her heart to fly from it—only to be prepared for it, and to meet it wisely, as a good daughter should do. The evil was close and silent as the tomb; not a leaf rustled, not a bird sang, Abeer disregarded every breath of anxiety and dismay and stood firmly with her father to say the final word .The words are endless to talk about the tender heart sister who became a mother after the death of my mother in 2009; her only concern was to take care of my father and looking after us even when we are away from home.; their only mistake was just sitting home peacefully?

Criminals came to extinguish the two beams of the sun, but let me assure you that their souls are still glittering like a rainbow in the sky and will not fade and die, for this reason, I would not say goodbye . God Bless their souls ever.

The unwritten rule of grief; Is it your turn to leave?

Aunt was killed by a terrorist explosion by the rebels in Homs Syria as on 6 March 14 .

Some people can’t speak about it, where does it go?  The body remembers everything. Excessive amounts of time and energy are spent trying to remember conversations once had, create the statements that were never voiced, or imagine reactions never received. These are heavy bricks to carry for endless days, months, or even years.

Did anyone hear the song of death? I hear it every day in Syria; I hear it sang by my beloveds, the death ghost is chasing them everywhere, saints are followed by demons. Resting in heaven peacefully easing my mind but with conflicting thoughts that often leave much pain in a heart filled with agonies following their martyrdom. She missed them; she missed her brother and her niece and was her time to leave. She left quickly without a goodbye; she left with no remembered sigh. It can be more challenging to remember so-pleasant memories of the time you had with your family and relatives who passed away but the clock ticking hours and days to receive the shocking waves. Today my aunt passed away and May God rest her soul in heaven to light the way.

Most Death incidents help us mourn the loss of a loved one, how to cope with yearning, how to adapt to the emptiness following the death of someone so significant in your life that the mere thought of living without them feels incredibly overwhelming and incapacitating.

.I realized I saw her face today
.In the sparkle of the morning sun
,And then I heard the angel say
“Her work on earth is done”

I thought that she had left us
For the stars so far above
,And then I heard the angel say
“She left you with her love”

I thought that I would miss her
And never find my way.
And then I heard the angel say,
“She’s resting with your father and sister away”

May God Rest her soul in peace.


Christian Village Massacred In Syria

It was said the rebels were angels, but there is only a minority of fighters with a democratic history who believe in the Syrian mosaic and want a state for all. The majority of rebels are very far from having democratic thoughts and have other aspirations.

Pray for Syria!

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