Monday, September 16, 2013

Syrian Christians raped, butchered

Be aware of the plight of Syria's Christians.

"It's a catastrophe," said Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, international director of the Barnabas Fund. "Over seven million refugees, internally and externally. Just over a third of the population.

"In Aleppo, the Christian community is completely surrounded by rebel forces. When the rebels take over an area, particularly where they are linked to al Qaeda, all the churches and Christian institutions are destroyed.

"We have churches being used as public toilets. Christian women are being systematically raped. We have Christian men who are being kidnapped. It's a condition which is wholly appalling. . . 

"Christians are being wiped off the map of Syria. We are helping families with prayers, support and aid. . .The latest thing that we are now looking at is the provision of trauma counselling for children. So many children have been affected: they are in a terrible emotional state."

There has been fierce fighting in Maaloula, an ancient Christian village in the mountains north-east of Damascus. Maaloula is one of the few places where the people speak Western Aramaic, a variation of the language that Jesus spoke.

The village had 3,300 residents. Most have now fled, leaving most of their possessions behind. The rebels took possession of the village over a week ago. A sizeable proportion of the rebels are said to be from the ruthless al Nusra Front.

One resident described how they attacked Christian homes and churches. "I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them and saying 'Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded.'"

Another resident said “They shot and killed people. 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?”

Details of what you can do to help are at

No comments: