Voices from Russia

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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