Voices from Russia

Sunday, 15 April 2018

A Statement Issued by the Greek Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, and Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarchates of Antioch on the Recent American Aggression in Syria

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God is with us; Understand all ye nations and submit yourselves!

We condemn and denounce the brutal aggression that took place this morning against our precious country Syria by the USA, France, and the UK, under allegations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons. We raise our voices to affirm the following:

  • This brutal aggression is a clear violation of international law and the UN Charter, as it’s an unjustified assault on a sovereign country, member of the UN.
  • It causes us great pain that this assault comes from powerful countries to which Syria didn’t cause any harm in any way.
  • The allegation of the USA and other countries that the Syrian Arab Army uses chemical weapons and that Syria owns and uses this kind of weapon is an unjustified claim unsupported by sufficient and clear evidence.
  • The timing of this unjustified aggression against Syria, when an independent International Commission for Inquiry was about to start work in Syria, undermines the work of this commission.
  • This brutal aggression destroys the chances for a peaceful political solution and leads to escalation and more complications.
  • This unjust aggression encourages terrorist organisations and gives them momentum to continue their terrorism.
  • We call upon the UN Security Council to play its role in bringing peace rather than contribute to an escalation of the war.
  • We call upon all churches in the countries that participated in the aggression to fulfil their Christian duties according to the teachings of the Gospel, to condemn this aggression, to call their governments to commit to the protection of international peace.
  • We salute the courage, heroism, and sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army, which courageously protects Syria and provide security for its people. We pray for the souls of the martyrs and the recovery of the wounded. We’re confident that the army won’t bow before external or internal terrorist aggressions; they’ll continue to fight courageously against terrorism until they cleanse every inch of the Syrian land from terrorism. We, likewise, commend the brave stand of countries friendly to Syria and its people.

We offer our prayers for the safety, victory, and deliverance of Syria from all kinds of wars and terrorism. We also pray for peace in Syria and throughout the world, and call for strengthening the efforts of the national reconciliation for the sake of protecting the country and preserving the dignity of all Syrians.

+ Greek Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna al-Yazigi of Antioch and all the East

+ Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem of Antioch and all the East

+ Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch Joseph Absi of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem

Damascus

Syrian Arab Republic

14 April 2018

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Friday, 8 November 2013

Survivors Recount Horrors in Aramaic-Speaking Syrian Town

00 Maronites in Lebanon. 08.11.13

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Now, inhabitants of Sadad, near Homs, who fled the largely Syriac Orthodox town when rebels attacked last month, are returning home to discover the scale of atrocities in what’s being seen as the worst act of anti-Christian persecution since the war in Syria began. The reports, sent by church leaders to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, describe how, in this ancient Christian town mentioned in the Bible (Ezekiel), vulnerable people unable to escape… including the elderly, disabled, women, and children… were subjected to torture, such as strangulation.

Church sources say that people found 30 bodies in two separate mass graves. Discovered dead in a well in Sadad were the remains of six members of one family, including Matanios el-Sheikh, 85, his wife, Habsah, 75, their daughter, Njala, 45, and grandsons Ranim, aged 18, a first-year university student, and his 16-year-old brother Fadi, in class XI at school. Reports stated that rebels threw them down a well on 26 October, along with the boys’ paternal grandmother, 90-year-old Mariam. Their funerals, which took place Monday, 4 November, came as a community, which dates back to 2000 BC, began to grieve the loss of those described as “martyrs” by church leaders.

The atrocities took place during a week-long occupation of Sadad by the al-Nusra Front and Da’ash, rebel forces who, according to church leaders, held 1,500 families as “human shields” in a bid to stop government troops retaking the village. The tragedy in Sadad began 21 October when rebel forces invaded the town. Agenzia Fides reported that Archbishop Selwanos Boutros al-Nemeh, Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama, called it the “most serious and biggest massacre of Christians” since the conflict began in Syria in March 2011.

At least 2,500 families fled with no more than the clothes they were wearing to cities like Homs, 37 miles away, and further afield to Damascus, al-Fhayle, Maskane, Fayrouza, Zzaydal, and elsewhere. Some who escaped travelled five miles by foot to find shelter. The rebels quickly rounded those unable to flee Sadad up as part of a bid to fend off counter-attack by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In the days that followed, at least 30 were wounded and 10 are reported still missing. Accounts from Archbishop Selwanos and other church leaders described widespread looting and destruction of shops, homes, and government buildings as well as the state hospital, clinic, post office, and schools. According to reports, youngsters described receiving taunts and insults against their Christian faith and rebels wrote obscene words on church artefacts. Sadad, where people speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, has up to 14 churches, one of which is the Syriac Orthodox Church of St Theodore, which was used by the rebels, who desecrated it.

In a 4 November interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios Laham of Damascus described the atrocities in Sadad as “bestial”. Highlighting the murder of the family thrown down the well, Patriarch Gregorios said, “How can somebody do such inhumane and bestial things to an elderly couple and their family? I don’t understand why the world doesn’t raise its voice against such acts of brutality”. Reiterating his call for an end to the transfer of arms to Syria, especially to extremist rebel groups, Patriarch Gregorios said that already the atrocity instigated another wave of emigration of Christians from Syria. He said that, until now, the faithful saw Sadad as a safe haven, compared to the likes of Homs where Christian communities came under attack. Describing the atrocity as “a sign of the rise of fundamentalism and extremism” in the country, he said, “What happened in Sadad is very significant in that it’s frightening Christians into leaving the country. I’ve heard from the parish priest [of Sadad] and the [local] bishop that a number of people are leaving Syria”.

7 November 2013

Zenit News Agency

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/survivors-recount-horrors-in-aramaic-speaking-syrian-town

Editor’s Note:

The rebels would be history without American and Saudi support. That’s why the Western media is mute as a fish concerning the Golgotha of Syrian Christians. If this doesn’t prove that Republican Neoconservatives and Democratic Interventionists are evil and perverted to the bone, I don’t know what can convince you. Reflect on this, Orthodox people… Paffhausen supports the neocons… Reardon supports the neocons… Dreher supports the neocons (he DID write for National Review, didn’t he? He hasn’t repudiated that rag and its publishers, no he hasn’t)… the konvertsy in general support the neocons (and the extreme forms of American Exceptionalism).

It’s time to disown those who refuse to repudiate their opposition to the Orthosphere. It’s put up or shut up time, kids…

BMD

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