Creștinii Uciși in Sadad, Syria (noi detalii si video) – Individual Stories of Persecution: The UNSPEAKABLE crimes committed against the Christians of Sadad, Syria (News Report Video)

Funeral family of 6 executed Sadad SyriaFuneral – Family of 6 executed in Sadad – The bodies of six family members were found in a well in Sadad: Matanios El Sheikh, 85, his wife, Habsah, 75, their daughter, Njala, 45, their grandsons Ranim, 18, and Fadi, 16, and the boys’ paternal grandmother, Mariam, 90. The city of Sadad lies between Damascus and Homs and is mentioned in the books of Numbers and Ezekiel in the Bible.

Inmormântarea familiei creștină- toti cei 6 membri ai familiei au fost impușcati in cap in Sadad. Vezi numele lor si vârsta sub poză. Orașul Sadad, unde a fost savârșit masacrul este așezat intre Damasc și Homs și este mentionat in Biblie in cartile Ezekiel si Numeri.

ROMANIAN:

In acest video, jurnaliștii sirieni raportează din orașul Sadad, după masacrul din 21 Octombrie. Sadad este un oras unde majoritatea locuitorilor sunt creștini.  Intr-una din case, toti cei 6 membri ai familiei au fost legați si impușcați in cap, iar apoi aruncați in fântâna din curtea domiciliului. O alta femeie a ales și ea sa nu fugă din Sadad, deși putea sa plece cu cei doi fii ai ei. Motivul de a  rămâne in Sadad? Avea o soacră handicapată și astfel au rămas și  cei doi părinți ai femeii cu ea. Toți 4 au fost omorâti și aruncati in fântâna. In total, 45 de civili au fost martirizați, inclusiv femei, copii și bărbați.

Stirea: Masacru asupra creștinilor din Sadad- 21 octombrie 2013 a fost o zi neagră pentru creștinii din Sadad (Siria). Orașul a fost asediat de islamiști, care au ucis orbește zeci de creștini, aruncându-i apoi în gropi comune. Arhiepiscopul ortodox sirian Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh a calificat atacul drept „cel mai grav și cel mai mare masacru al creștinilor din Siria, din ultimii doi ani și jumătate.”

Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, care slujește ca mitropolit de Homs și Hama relata pentru presă că numai pe 21 octombrie, la Sadad, „peste 45 de civili nevinovați, printre care copii și femei, au fost martirizați fără niciun motiv, mulți fiind apoi aruncați în gropi comune.”

Orașul Sadad, o așezare mică situată la circa 100 de kilometri de Damasc, a fost timp de o săptămână scena unor lupte de o cruzime fără precedent. „Timp de o săptămână, 1.500 de familii, cu copii şi persoane în vârstă, au fost luate ostatice şi folosite ca scuturi umane. Aproximativ 2.500 de familii au reuşit să fugă din Sadad, în prezent fiind refugiaţi la Damasc, Homs, Fayrouza, Zaydal, Maskane şi Al- Fhayle,” relata arhiepiscopul sirian, pentru theorthodoxchurch.info. Orașul cu circa 15.000 de locuitori a fost aproape complet distrus. Jafurile nu au ocolit nici măcar bisericile, școlile sau clădirile publice. Inclusiv spitalul local a fost o țintă a atacatorilor.

Declarația arhiepiscopului continuă tulburător bilanțul: „3.000 de oameni au fost luați ostatici iar noi am strigat pentru ajutor și nimeni nu ne-a auzit, cu excepția minorităților care ne-au ajutat și care au fost solidare. Unde este conștiința creștină? Unde este conștiința Siriană? Unde este conștiința umană? Unde sunt frații noștri, mitropoliții, preoții și prietenii? Unde?! Unde? Și niciun răspuns… Cu câteva excepții. Am un nod un gât și inima îmi arde pentru toate câte s-au petrecut în eparhia mea și bieții oameni care au căutat refugiu, plecând apoi cu mâinile goale… Unde vor merge de acolo, nu știu…. Rugați-vă pentru noi!”

Procentul creștinilor din Siria a scăzut în prezent la 10%, pe fondul persecuțiilor intense la care sunt supuși. Citeste mai mult aici – Semnele Timpului

ENGLISH:

Syrian News Report, closed-captioned in English. Some disturbing bits from the video:

-a family of 6 members, Sadad city in the countryside of Homs, terrorists carried out against them the ugliest methods of killing. After tying their hands and gagging their mouths, they shot them in the head. Then, they threw their bodies in an old well, beside the house to hide their hatred for humanity and for life.

-one martyred woman was (would have been) able to flee with her two sons, but she refused to leave her old handicapped mother in law, and her own parents, they were not able to go to a secure place. Man to reporter: After a couple of days of ‘the attack’, we found traces of blood on the well. We were shocked. They were killed and dropped into the well and covered with dirt. With the help of civil defense, we were able to remove the dirt thrown over them (their bodies), we were shocked to find (uncover) this big massacre. They threw over them stuff, to cover their ugly crime.

-reporter: words fail to describe…

-a woman to the reporter: ‘An ugly massacre before the eyes of the whole (of) humanity. Where is the humanity in (of) the world? Does (the) humanity of the world accept this crime?

-warning, please use discretion: In the first minute, there is some graphic footage of a dead body being pulled out of one well.

45 Syrian Christians massacred

The „most serious and biggest massacre of Christians in Syria” in which 45 people were killed and 1,500 families held hostage has been reported by the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama.

It happened during the week following 21 October in the ancient Christian town of Sadad, which lies about 100 miles north-east of Damascus, after it was invaded by anti-Assad Islamist militias and before the Syrian army retook the town. Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh said: „Forty-five innocent civilians were martyred for no reason, and among them several women and children, and many were thrown into mass graves.” Thirty more civilians were wounded and 10 are still missing. Around 1,500 families were held as hostages and human shields against the incoming government forces, and 2,500 others fled the town at gunpoint with only the clothes they were wearing.
The archbishop, who conducted the funeral services last week amid grief and outrage, lamented that the outside world has done little to help suffering Syrians. „We have shouted ‘help us’ to the world but no one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers?”

Church sources told the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that civilians unable to escape – including the elderly, disabled, women and children – were subjected to torture such as strangulation.

The bodies of six family members were found in a well in Sadad: Matanios El Sheikh, 85, his wife, Habsah, 75, their daughter, Njala, 45, their grandsons Ranim, 18, and Fadi, 16, and the boys’ paternal grandmother, Mariam, 90. The Damascus-based Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III said to ACN: „How can somebody do such inhumane and bestial things to an elderly couple and their family?” He added: „I do not understand why the world does not raise its voice against such acts of brutality.”

Sadad lies between Damascus and Homs and is mentioned in the books of Numbers and Ezekiel in the Bible. Most of its population of 15,000 people are Syriac Orthodox and it is home to 14 churches, a monastery, temples, historic landmarks and archaeological sites.

Most of these have been destroyed and looted, especially the Syriac Orthodox Church of St Theodore which the Wahhabi terrorists from al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) used as a base.

The archbishop said houses have been looted „and schools, government buildings, municipal buildings have been destroyed, along with the post office, the hospital and the clinic”.

Early yesterday morning in Damascus the Holy See’s nunciature was hit by mortar fire, causing slight structural damage to its roof. Archbishop Mario Zenario, the papal nuncio, confirmed that the 6.35 a.m. blast did not cause any injuries. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack or if the building had been specifically targeted. The Syrian Government, the UN and many other nations pledged their solidarity with the Pope’s envoy.

Source http://www.thetablet.co.uk/

Reclame

Syria: Rebels Seized Control of a historic Christian Village 3 weeks ago (VIDEO)

As Islamist Occupation Continues,

Syrian Christians Remain Trapped

An update: September 25, 2013 from http://news.antiwar.com

Nearly three weeks ago, rebels from al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra attacked the Syrian Christian village of Maaloula, seizing a hotel on a hilltop and using it as a base to shell the villagers below and eventually taking the town outright. Several failed militarypushes later, parts of the town have been reclaimed, but al-Nusra is still at the hotel.

Most of the tiny village’s population fled when the attacks began, but a number of civilians fled to a convent on the outskirts of town, where nuns take care of orphans. It was never intended to be a long-term solution.

But roughly 40 civilians, including many of the orphans, are still stuck in the convent, with supplies dwindling and a looming humanitarian crisis, they have been appealing to Christians elsewhere in Syria for relief.

That’s going to be tough going, however, since Christians throughout Syria are taking the ongoing civil war particularly hard, stuck between an Assad government that has historically tolerated them, more or less, and Islamist-dominated rebels that see that tolerance as evidence of complicity, and aim to wipe them out.

Tiny towns like Maaloula are mostly off the beaten path in Syria. The villagers there still speak Aramaic, not Syrian Arabic, and beyond a tiny army post inside the village, which was burned almost immediately when al-Nusra attacked, there is little reason why the village would be of interest at all to al-Qaeda.

A statement from an alleged commander of al-Nusra promised to withdraw from the village if the Christians promised to keep the military from returning, but the village of a couple thousand people can’t realistically keep any fighting force out, and so al-Nusra has remained, leaving the villagers stuck in the middle of a civil war.

Photo credit http://www.al-monitor.com/

This is a somewhat (relatively older) story, from September 5th and 8th, 2013. However, I have been digging a little bit past the headlines and found the story reported at Al-Monitor.com. See below the video.

Syrian rebels have reportedly taken control of an historic Christian village near Damascus. Rebel forces led by al Qaeda-linked jihadists captured the Christian village of Maaloula, situated in the mountains just north of Damascus. The village is also known as one of the few places in the world where residents still speak Aramaic, which some scholars say is the language Jesus spoke.

Maaloula is one of the oldest Christian villages in the world, and the oldest in Syria. From CBN News Length 4:02 VIDEO by VOM C

This was the town we read about when the Daily Mail reported on rebels who threatened christians to convert to islam or be beheaded:

Maaloula, Syria Photo credit http://www.dailymail.co.uk

The village of Maaloula has been taken over by Syrian rebels associated with al Qaeda, who have stormed the Christian center and offered local Christians a choice: conversion or death. A resident of the town said the rebels shouted “Allahu Akhbar” as they moved through the village, and proceeded to assault Christian homes and churches.

One Maaloula resident said the rebels, many of whom had beards and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great), attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village.

“They shot and killed people,” he said. “I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village. Where is President Obama to see what has befallen us?” Another witness stated, “I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them and saying, ‘Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded.’”

Another said one church had been torched, and gunmen stormed into two other churches and robbed them.

The beautiful mountain village, 25 miles from Damascus, is one of the few places in the world where residents still use the ancient language of Aramaic, which was spoken by Jesus and his disciples.

Terrified Christians claim Syrian rebels ordered them to convert to Islam on pain of death when they ‘liberated’ their ancient village.

Opposition forces, including fighters linked to Al Qaeda, gained temporary control of the Christian village of Maaloula after fighting with regime forces.

The reports have reignited fears about western support for the rebel groups, which are increasingly being infiltrated by Islamic extremists.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Syrian Christian Village Besieged By Jihadists September 5, 2013

Read the detailed report here: http://www.al-monitor.com/

Syrian Islamist Rebels Threaten Maaloula, Christians

After the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved President Barack Obama’s plan to strike Syria, armed extremist Islamists entered the Syrian town of Maaloula, located to the northeast of Damascus.

Maaloula is a historical town that symbolizes the Christian presence in the Levant. To this day, its residents speak Aramaic — the language of Jesus Christ. For centuries, Maaloula has maintained its heritage and embodied the presence of Christianity in Syria, despite the predominant Islamic characteristics the country took on following the Islamic conquests in Syria in 636.

However, in their fight against Christians, those attacking Maaloula are still implementing the old legacies of Islam in its early stages. Back then, the prophet was compelled to make concessions to gain the support of tribes in his conflict with the Quraysh — rich Arab tribes at the time — and those opposed to his call for Islam in the Arab peninsula.

Storming into Maaloula and calling upon its residents to convert to Islam as the only option to stay alive — only days prior to a possible US military attack against the Syrian regime — once again prompts questions about a potential alternative. While, according to the West, President Bashar al-Assad prevents the establishment of democracy in Syria, the Islamist opposition threatens —  if it were to usurp power — to destroy 1,000 years of religious tolerance in the Levant.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/09/syria-islamists-maaloula-threat-religious-coexistence.html#ixzz2fwrThoEY

Syria – Concerned for the safety and future of their children 4 out of 10 Christians leaving Damascus

MissionNewsNetworg.org via OpenDoorsMinistry reports:

Syria ― „The situation is very grim. There is deep sadness and much stress and anxiety.” That is the summary Pastor Edward from Damascus gave to Open Doors on the situation in the Syrian capital. (Photo credit on right www.religiontoday.com)

According to the pastor, about 40% of the members of his church have left the country since the conflict in Syria started over two years ago. Imagine: four of every ten members of your church leaving in such a short period. That means a major loss for every congregation. And that is the reality churches in Syria now face as this example from Damascus shows.

People who have the financial means, and especially those who have contacts abroad, are leaving the country. Pastor Edward knows that in his church, some members still are waiting for the opportunity to leave Syria, too. „They are still trying to find a place to go.” However, all the people that left didn’t leave the church services empty. „No, we see new people coming to church. Many of the families that we visit and help with a monthly food supply, for example, come to our services now.”

Although there is no fighting going on in the central area of Damascus, in several suburbs fighting is a daily reality. No one can escape from the distant sound of explosions and shooting. „It seems that there is no end in sight. Christians are like all other people: concerned for their safety and the future of their children.”

In a way, life goes on for many people in the capital. People who work in the public sector still go to work. „But their income is worth less and less as the Syrian pound lost 75% of its value, which caused huge inflation. After over two years of civil war, most people are suffering economically and are traumatized emotionally.”

The pastor also mentions „a brighter side” in the gloom. „Church people are closer to the Lord and to each other.”

PAUL (Part 1) on the ROAD to DAMASCUS

(via) Paul’s call to the ministry of the Way is intertwined with Peters efforts to reach out to the Gentiles in the formative years of the Church. Below is an excerpt (from pp 462-465) of the narrative mostly from Acts of Paul’s ministry before he made his first missionary journey (which will follow in a future post).

Now as he was approaching Damascus…suddenly a light from  heaven flashed around him.  Acts 9:3.

(from The Tyndale Handbook of Bible Charts & Maps. Copyright 2001 (c) by Neil S. Wilson & Linda K. Taylor.) (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois)

The road from Jerusalem to Damascus owes its fame to an event occurring along it about the year A.D. 34. Acts gives us the most famous account of Paul’s “Damascus Road experience.”    The great persecutor, “still breathing threats and  murder against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1), is on his way to the city, claiming the high priest’s authority to arrest any disciples of Jesus he should find there. But this journey will take an unexpected turn.
Roads and journeys are important throughout Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. The Gospel’s central section (Luke 9:51-19:27) describes Jesus’ last journey to Jerusalem, during which He prepares His disciples for what is to come. But life-changing experiences also happen on roads out of Jerusalem. It is on  the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus that Cleopas and his companion encounter the risen Lord (Luke 24:13-35). On the road connecting Jerusalem with Gaza, Philip encounters the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). Now it is on another road from Jerusalem that the persecutor Saul of Tarsus will be transformed into Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles. Given the significance of journeying, it is not surprising that the earliest followers of Jesus were known as people who belonged to the Way (Acts 9:2).

Conversion  or  Call?

Paul most likely followed the major thoroughfare through the Jordan valley, before turning to the northeast from Galilee toward Damascus, the snow capped Mt. Hermon to the north. As he drew near to Damascus, the dramatic event occurred.  Although Christians have come to speak of Paul’s conversion, the story told by Acts, and the allusion to it in Paul’s letters, suggest another possibility.
In that it was so life changing, shaking the very foundations of his Pharisaic worldview, it is appropriately called a conversion. Yet this did not mean a transfer from one religion to another. Rather, Paul prefers the language of a prophetic call: he is being commissioned for a particular task. He believes, like Jeremiah and Isaiah before him, that he has been prepared for this new role since before his birth (Galatiians 1:15); see also Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5). His call near Damascus is understood to include a direct charge to preach God’s Son among the Gentiles (Galatians 1:16).

Paul in Damascus

Damascus is located in an oasis in southern Syria, approximately 135 miles (217 km) northeast of Jerusalem. The city was completely rebuild in the Hellenistic period, on a grid system. The one exception to the right-angled layout was the colonnaded “Street called Straight,” which crossed the city from east to west. Its name probably reflects a local joke, for it was not straight but slightly crooked. Here Paul will reside with a fellow Jew named Judas.
When Paul finally arrives in Damascus, a Christian Jew, Ananias, seeks him out. Paul later describes him as “a devout man according to the law and well spoken of by all the Jews living” in Damascus (Acts 22:12). Acts does not state how the Christian  message reached Damascus, though that might be due to missionaries scattered following Stephen’s martyrdom (Acts 8:1). Ananias restores Paul’s sight, and brings him by baptism into the messianic community.  He boldly addresses as “brother Saul” one who, only days before, was intent on persecuting people such as him. He is another of the unsung heroes of the early Church, who disappears from Luke’s story as quickly as he entered it.

DAMASCUS. By the Rev. Dr. PHILIP SCHAFF and Miss M. E. ROGERS Gardens and Rivers of Damascus.

Escape from Damascus

Apart from describing his synagogue preaching in Damascus, Acts is silent about what happened next. We do know from Galatians, however, that after his call he spent some time in Arabia before returning to Damascus (Galatians 1:17).  “Arabia” refers to the area to the south, the kingdom of Nabataea. Its capital was the famous rock city of Petra. ( See a short video of this ancient city that still exists today here.) Paul declines to spell out his reason for heading to Arabia/Nabataea and he seems to have made enemies there. Some time after returning to Damascus, he is forced to flee for his life. Under cover of night he is forced down from the city’s wall in a basket (Acts 9:25), and makes his way back to Jerusalem. Although Acts views the Jews of Damascus as the rime movers against him, Paul sees the real threat as “the governor under King Aretas” (2 Corinthians 11:32). The king in question is Aretas IV, king of the Nabataeas from 9 B.C. to 40 A.D. Damascus remained firmly under Roman control  until Tiberius’s death in March 37 A.D. Paul’s reference suggests the city then came under Nabataean control, thus giving an approximate date for his escape.
So Saul returns to Jerusalem a changed man. It is not surprising that the Church there suspected a plot to infiltrate their ranks. Later, Paul relates that he  met Peter (Cephas) and James the Lord’s brother ( Galatians 1:18-20) and the Cypriot Joseph Barnabas emerges out of the shadows to show his worth as a true “son of encouragement” (see Acts 43:6). The stories of Barnabas and Saul will be inextricably linked in the chapters to follow.

Opening to the Gentiles

Bab Kisan Gate where Paul escapes persecution.

Having prepared the ground for Paul’s future work, Luke now returns to the leader of the Jerusalem apostles, Simon Peter. Although Paul is remembered as the great apostle to the Gentiles, Acts shows how his work is already anticipated in Peter’s ministry. Somewhat reluctantly, but in accordance with the divine will, Peter opens a door for the Gentiles; Paul and Barnabas will use this opportunity to great effect, and on a far wider canvas.

Healing on the fringes

Peter continues Christ’s healing ministry here in two further healings (Acts 9:32-43). Yet as important as continuing Jesus’ healing of those “on the margins” is the fact that Peter is also moving to the geographic margins.

Joppa, prophet Jonah boarded ship here to run away

The locations of the two miraculous events,  Lydda and Joppa, are away from Jerusalem on a coastal plain.  Beyond them is the great sea, the Mediterranean. Soon Paul and Barnabas will sail across that sea to bring the good news to Cyprus and Asia Minor.
Lydda, the ancient Lod, was a large town or city located on the road linking Jerusalem  with Joppa about 10 miles (16 km) inland from Joppa. The port town of Joppa (from a Canaanite word meaning “the beautiful”) although inhabited by Jews, was a Greek city, stressing again Peter’s move to the boundaries. Here he resides with Simon the tanner, an occupation despised by many pious Jews.
The story of the healing of Aeneas in Lydda echoes Jesus’ healing of a paralytic at Luke 5:18-26. Although Aeneas is not a Jewish  name, he fact that Peter’s dealings with him are uncontroversial (unlike those with Cornelius) suggests he is a Jew, probably a Christian Jew. Part of Peter’s motive in traveling seems to have been to encourage the disciples living on the edge of Judea. Aeneas’s healing leads to conversions among the (Jewish) population of  Lydda and “the Sharon,” the coastal plain located between the sea and the central hill country.  Peter’s second healing, at Joppa, certainly involves a disciple. When Tabitha, or Dorcas in Greek (“gazelle”), is raised from the dead one is reminded of Jesus’ raising of Jairus’s daughter (Luke 8:49-56). Acts 8:40 hints that both Lydda and Joppa were evangelized by Philip on his way from Azots to Caesarea.

God fearers converted

Now that Peter is on the Holy Land’s geographic fringes, the stage is set for the next major transition in the spread of the gospel. Cornelius, a Roman centurion of the Italian cohort stationed at Caesarea, will receive the Holy Spirit and be baptized. Archaeological evidence attests a “Second Italian Cohort” in the area later in the century, though none has been found for Cornelius’s time. The Caesarea in question is the Caesarea Maritima (distinguishing it from other cities named after the emperor such as Caesarea Philippi). Formerly Strato’s tower, it had magnificently been rebuilt by Herod the Great. Ruins have survived of a fine artificial harbor, a Roman theater and an aqueduct.
Luke frequently speaks of Roman officials who are favorable toward the Christian  message. Cornelius is described as “a devout man who feared God with all his household” (Acts 10:2). In this he resembles the centurion who built the synagogue in Capernaum (Luke 7:1-10). The first step toward the Gentiles will be to one who is already on the fringes of the synagogue. Although Peter is instrumental here, what validates this dramatic step is divine revelation. Cornelius’ visitation from an angel is followed by a trance-induced vision, in which Peter sees a sheet containing all varieties of creatures. Through this vision, Peter comes to see that God is now over/riding the traditional clean/unclean distinction. As he is to learn, this applies not simply to animals and food, but to the distinction between Jews and Gentiles.
Hence, on returning to Jerusalem later (See Acts 11:1-18), he is prepared to justify the action taken at Caesarea. In Cornelius’s house, Peter’s preaching prompts divine activity, as the Holy Spirit descends even upon the “unclean” Gentiles. The Spirit was the expected gift of the new age, and its possession was a sign of being God’s people. Faced with heaven’s approval of pious Cornelius and his family, Peter cannot refuse them baptism.  Indeed, Luke has him seal this by accepting their hospitality for several days. Nevertheless, the full implications of this are not worked out immediately, either for Peter or for the Church. Later, at Antioch, Paul will challenge Peter over his decision to no longer eat with Gentiles, again treating them as unclean (Galatians 2:11-14).

Another Herod persecutes the Church

Back in Jerusalem, hostility directed toward the Church continues. Now it is associated with King Herod (Acts 12:1-5), who executes James, son of Zebedee, and also takes action against Peter. Herod Agrippa I was the grandson of Herod the Great, born in 10 B.C. and educated in Rome, where he became friends with the future emperors Gaius and Claudius. He inherited his uncle Philip’s tetrarchy in A.D. 38, adding Antipas’s Galilee and Perea two years later. He ruled as King of Judea between 41 and 44 A.D.
Acts portrayal of Agrippa is negative, influenced by the memory of his action against the Way. Though a promoter of Hellenism like his grandfather, at home Agrippa was a pious Jew. Acts has a most dramatic account of his untimely death, in which the crowds acclaim him as a god, and he develops a fatal illness. The tragic demise of a figure of royal power (Acts 12:20-23) contrasts powerfully with the escape from prison of the fisherman he sought to destroy and the inexorable progress of the message he wished to quash.

photo from biblewalks.com – In this aerial photo you can see the western layout of the city, with Herod’s theater on the bottom side, Herod’s palace on the left side, the Hippodrome and the Roman city in the center, and the Crusaders and port on the top side.

Caesarea Maritima („by the Sea”) is located on the shore in the center of Israel,  in the middle between Haifa and Tel-Aviv. It is the site of one of the most important cities in the Roman World, the Roman capital of the province of Judea at the time of Jesus, and a Crusader fortress along the road from Acre to Jerusalem.  The followin – towards the end of Paul’s life also takes place in Caesarea Maritima:

Acts (25: 11-14, 23) – Paul appeals to Caesar

In 58AD the Apostle Paul, accused of causing a riot, was sent to Caesarea to stand trial before the governor. As a Roman citizen he requested to be heard by the Emperor , and so he sailed to Rome from Caesarea harbor. There, he was tried and executed after several years.

25:11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

25:12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.

25:13 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.

25:14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul’s cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix:

25:15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.

25:23 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus’ commandment Paul was brought forth.

26:32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

The „place of hearing”, where this all happened,  is located near Herod’ palace.

to be continued…

next in this series is Paul’s first missionary journey.

PETER and PAUL 1

PETER and PAUL 2

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