05 November 2013

In Sadad, more crimes that cry out to Heaven

Forty-five more innocent civilians were martyred last week by Islamist rebels in Syria, led by the al-Nusra Front. His Eminence Metropolitan Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh of Homs and Hama, of the Syriac Orthodox Church, spoke out strongly about the incident:
Forty-five innocent civilians were martyred for no reason, and among them several women and children, many thrown into mass graves. Other civilians were threatened and terrorized. Thirty were wounded and ten are still missing. For one week, 1,500 families were held as hostages and human shields. Among them children, the elderly, the young, men and women. Some of them fled on foot travelling eight kilometres from Sadad to Al-Hafer to find refuge. About 2,500 families fled from Sadad, taking only their clothes, due to the irruption of armed groups and today they are refugees scattered between Damascus, Homs, Fayrouza, Zaydal, Maskane, and Al-Fhayle.

There is no electricity, water and telephone in the city. All the houses of Sadad were robbed and property looted. The churches are damaged and desecrated, deprived of old books and precious furniture. Schools, government buildings, municipal buildings have been destroyed, along with the post office, the hospital and the clinic.

What happened in Sadad is the largest massacre of Christians in Syria and the second in the Middle East, after the one in the Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Iraq, in 2010. We have shouted aid to the world but no one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers? I think of all those who are suffering today in mourning and discomfort. We ask everyone to pray for us.
These are deadly crimes which, as our French and Latin brothers say, cry out to Heaven for vengeance. And insofar as the government of my country has waged war in Iraq and inflicted death, torture, suffering and mutilation upon its people; as it has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the suffering of Iraq’s Christians; as it has supported a rapacious, greedy and ruthless apartheid regime in the Levant which dispossesses Christians and Muslims alike on a regular basis; and as it has armed and given comfort and aid to these murderers in Syria, I too am made guilty, and implicated in these crimes.

Our hands are stained with the blood of our brothers and sisters, for we have placed in the hands of Antichrist the weapons which destroyed their lives, and to our everlasting shame our leaders congratulate themselves on our humanitarian compassion in so doing! Unworthy as we are, let us do as His Eminence asks: let us pray for the martyred and for the refugees from Sadad, and let us speak out as His Eminence has done, on behalf of those who have been crying to the Heavens until they can no longer speak.


  1. Unfortunately, many Americans probably did not even know native Middle Eastern Christians existed until we started to destroy their homelands. It is unfortunate that these national learning experiences have to come with so much death and destruction.

  2. Unfortunate indeed, John...

    The following is not to diminish in any way the horrific suffering and the brutal ripping away from community and all human dignity of the slave trade. But I sometimes feel as though the first English settlers of the Americas also underwent a wilful 'middle passage' wherein they cut themselves off from the taproots of their Christianity, from the knowledge of it and from the bonds of parental reverence with which these ancient communities should be treated.