|Past Pro-Hamas Rally in Damascus (www.wikimedia.org)|
Saturday, December 1, 2012
SYRIA, Orthodox Priest Brutally Murdered
Urgently pray for the People and Peace to the War in Syria. So many have suffered so dearly.
DAMASCUS, Syria, 29 Nov, 2012 (Open Doors News) — Syria appears to be heading towards deepening breakdown, with sectarian fragmentation likened to its neighbor, Lebanon’s civil war. Inevitably, Christians have been caught up in the chaos over the past months, as we report here - starting with a Syrian Orthodox priest who was deliberately killed.
In an act of courage 43 year old Father Fadi Haddad set off by car to negotiate the release of one of his parishioners, who had been kidnapped. A week later, it became clear that the parish priest from Qatana, some 20 kilometers south-west of Damascus, had paid the highest price. On Oct. 25th, his lifeless and mutilated body was found on the side of a road. Qatana had been terrorized by radical fighters.
Locals told Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). “‘Extremists went through the streets shouting ‘Alawites to the grave, Christians to Beirut’. They want to kick us out”.
A pastor who often provided Haddad with Bibles and who met him a few days before he was kidnapped told us, "Father Fadi’s superiors had asked him why he kept traveling back and forth between Qatana and Damascus.
"‘I cannot not serve Jesus; I need to help people, that is why I have to move around,’ he responded."
Christians in Syria say the particularly gruesome death of Father Fadi - his eyes had been gouged out - marks a turning point for them. Before, Christians were caught up in the war in the same way as Kurds, Druze, and all other ethnic groups. Also, a part of the Christian community in Syria has been actively supporting President Assad, thus being an actor in the civil war.
But some Syrian Christians say a series of incidents recently points to a trend of violence against Christian civilians, including priests. Particularly worrying, they say, is the growing presence of foreign radical Islamic fighters in the country, and the many Islamist brigades within the opposition Free Syrian Army. Yet there is fear of government forces as well. On Nov. 14, four missiles struck the Christian village of Tel Nasri in northeast Syria. St. Mary’s Church was severely damaged, as were many houses. As the Assyrian International News Agency reports, a 14-year old boy was killed and many were wounded, apparently by Assad’s fighter planes, though that is not confirmed.
Before that, on Oct. 21st, a car bomb exploded near the gate of Bab Touma, the historical Christian neighborhood in Damascus. The car was parked next to two churches, a Maronite and a Latin church in Bab Touma street, which emerges into ‘the straight street’ mentioned in the Bible. The explosive detonated at a time when local Christians were heading to church for Sunday Mass. At least 10 people were killed and more than 16 injured. While the nearby police station may have been the target, the timing of the explosion meant that churchgoers would be hurt.
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Copyright 2012 Open Doors News
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The violence of man's inhumanity to man is horrific. “The wicked are brought down by their own wickedness,” says Proverbs (NKJV Prov 11:5 ). “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18 NKJV) commands God.
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Please Pray for the people of Syria....
– Bill Hunt