In Syria, believers are running out of options

Syria unrest: Maps and videos of Homs fighting. Photo credit

Syria (MNN) — Ukraine has taken over the world’s spotlight, but developments in Syria are cause for concern: believers are running out of options. David Curry of Open Doors USA explains: “Over the past several months, Christians have increasingly been caught in the cross-fire of the battle between those that are loyal to the government and the Muslim extremists.

“Some extremist groups have been quoted as saying, ‘We’ll either kill you or you’ll have to leave.’ There’s a concerted effort to put Christians in the middle of these battles because they want them to leave; they want to impose Sharia law.”

Believers in Homs are standing firm, though: Open Doors says a small group of 28 Christians is refusing to leave the city. They feel that if they leave, there will be nothing to return to when things calm down.

“Extremists and/or government loyalists will claim a historic Christian site as a battleground…and it basically creates these situations where Christians are forced to leave their homes–historic Christian villages, historic Christian places–and maybe lose their homes, maybe never be able to come back,” explains Curry.

Last month, hundreds of Syrians were evacuated from Homs during a temporary ceasefire. At the same time, humanitarian aid and food were brought in. But it wasn’t enough, according to Dutch Jesuit priest Frans van der Lugt.

“They [the UN] brought pans and cloths the people didn’t need. We need rice and food. That didn’t come in sufficiently,” he told Dutch NOS Radio 1 during the evacuation.

“There is a huge lack of food. At our breakfast, we eat olives and drink tea. In the afternoon, we make soup with what grows between the stones on the street. In the evening, we just see what we can get.”

With the help of partners in the region, Open Doors is helping some 8,000 families in Syria.  (Image courtesy Open Doors)

With the help of partners in the region, Open Doors
is helping some 8,000 families in Syria.
(Image courtesy Open Doors)

The “starvation tactics” used by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, wherein cities are constantly shelled to prevent movement of goods and people, are taking a toll. Rebels are reportedly striking ceasefires with local governments, turning in their weapons to authorities so that food and medical aid may enter the city.

PHOTO on right – Open Doors is partnering with churches and Christian partners to help 8,000 families in Syria, including relief products.

“We provide food and water and assistance to help people survive,” explains Curry. “We want to make sure that Christians have the ability to stay and to remain in their home country.”

There’s a way for you to help, too.

“We need to have Christians in the West calling their representatives in Congress and Senate and saying, ‘Hey, will you please pay attention to what’s happening to Christians in Syria?’” says Curry.

“A lot of times, people don’t realize Christians are being targeted…but it’s becoming a big problem.”

Pray for strength and courage for the believers choosing to stay in Syria.

Source Mission News Network

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.


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 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


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.


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