Tue

29

Oct

2013

Update: Syrian Army Frees Christian Town of Sadad

Mass graves containing the bodies of 31, men, women and children discovered after the town was liberated by Syrian Army from the western backed Wahhabi / Takfiri terrorist.

The Funeral of some of the 31 townspeople of Sadad who lost their lives when the town was overrun by western backed rebels including elements of al-Qaeda affiliated groups
The Funeral of some of the 31 townspeople of Sadad who lost their lives when the town was overrun by western backed rebels including elements of al-Qaeda affiliated groups
The Funeral of some of the 31 townspeople of Sadad who lost their lives when the town was overrun by western backed rebels including elements of al-Qaeda affiliated groups
The Funeral of some of the 31 townspeople of Sadad who lost their lives when the town was overrun by western backed rebels including elements of al-Qaeda affiliated groups

Article here in Arabic only

اكتشاف مقبرتين جماعيتين في بلدة"صدد" تحتوي على ثلاثين جثة لنساء ورجال وأطفال - See more at: http://www.ishtartv.com/viewarticle,50710.html#sthash.0LmiJ82T.dpuf
اكتشاف مقبرتين جماعيتين في بلدة"صدد" تحتوي على ثلاثين جثة لنساء ورجال وأطفال - See more at: http://www.ishtartv.com/viewarticle,50710.html#sthash.0LmiJ82T.dpuf

Message from a Syrian Christian

 

"Our hearts is broken for our lost brothers and sisters, but we believe that Jesus is risen from death and he is Alive and he will rise his people from death (those who believe in him ) to be with him for ever. Our condolences to all the families of Martyrs and to the people of Sadad. Continue pray for Sadad. "

Reports suggest that Syrian army has retaken control of the ancient Christian town of Sadad

News report from Iran's Press TV: "Reports coming out of Syria suggest that the army has retaken control of the ancient Christian town of Sadad from al-Qaeda-linked militants."


7 Comments

Mon

28

Oct

2013

We Won't Accept Anything but the Tradition of the Prophet

Wahhabi / Takfiri Cleric Smashes a Statue of the Virgin Mary in town of Yakubiyah

Wahhabi cleric / FSA Insurgent, Omar Gharba seen here smash the statue of the Virgin Mary in Yakubiyah in Syria's Idlib province. The town which had been under the control of the FSA (“Free” Syrian Army) has more recently been taken over by militants from the al-Qaeda "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" (ISIS) group.

The so called "Free" Syrian Army

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

Omar Azba (Garba), the man seen smashing the statue of the Virgin, is a member of the so called "Free" Syrian Army. In this photo he can be seen wearing the uniform and logo of the “Free” Syrian Army. The FSA has received tens of millions of dollars in financial, logistical and intelligence support from countries such as America, the United Kingdom and France to further their geo-political strategy in the region.

Mosaic of St. Anna at the church in Yakubiyah
Mosaic of St. Anna at the church in Yakubiyah

Yakubiyah was a mostly Christians village principally comprised of Armenian Apostolic and Catholic denominations. There are three churches in the village two of which are Armenian Apostolic and one Catholic.

 

In late January 2013, Yakubiyah was captured by rebels.  Given the strong involvement of the Turkish government in events and its facilitation of the rebels in this border region many of the village residents, as descendants of those who survived the Ottoman/Turkish perpetrated Armenian Genocide of 1915, fled their village fearing the possibility of similar. More recently the village appears to have been taken over by militants from the "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" a vicious extremist al-Qaeda affiliated group.


Wahhabism originates in Saudi Arabia

Wahhabism is an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam. It is a religious movement among fundamentalist believers, which originates in Saudi Arabia and promotes a Takfiri mentality which believes that all those including fellow Muslims who do not follow their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam are to be considered as kafir (infidel)

Above the political leaders of NATO member states, America, France and the United Kingdom with the King of Saudi Arabia, a strong regional GCC/Gulf ally and major arms purchaser from the West. Saudi Arabia, a Wahhabi state, arms and funds Takfiri fighters in Syria.

Update 29/10/2013 Information received this evening via Beirut relays the news of a possible massacre in recent days of some Christians who had remained in the village of Yakubiyah.

Happier times recalled in Yakubiyah Village

Scout summer camp activities at Saint Anna's Church in the village. 30/07/2009
Scout summer camp activities at Saint Anna's Church in the village. 30/07/2009

61 Comments

Sat

26

Oct

2013

Sadad, another Christian town falls to hand of terror

The Old Testament town of "Zedad" over run by terrorists

Article from varius sources including Fides, the Vatican’s Pontifical Missions news service

Sadad - The Christian towns of Sadad and Hofar, situated in the region of Qualamun, in a strategic area along the road that joins Homs to Damascus, has been since 22/10/2013 at the centre of the battle between the Syrian army and rebel militias lead by terrorist groups.

 

Funeral of martyrs from Sadad who were killed when the terrorists attacked the town.
Funeral of martyrs from Sadad who were killed when the terrorists attacked the town.

The assault on Sadad by rebel militias took place on Monday October 21 in the early hours of the morning while the population was asleep. According to local sources, the raid took place in a similar way to that suffered a month ago in the historic Christian village of Maalula. Several hundred men distributed among the elements of the extremists including the al-Qaeda terrorist linked Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant along with the Brigade Farouq entered in to Sadad from three directions, with thirty military vehicles. The extremist rebels tatgeted and occupied the police station, government centers, public facilities, the post office, and hospital where even the sick were taken hostage. The terrorists have caused the deaths of several local Christians and damaged several churches. On Tuesday, the army began a counteroffensive, intervening in support of the local police forces. Meanwhile, some of the 15 thousand inhabitants - mostly Syriac Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox and Catholics of the Syriac rite - began their exodus in the direction of the artery link between Damascus and Homs. However about 3 thousand people – have remained besieged in the villages of Sadad and Hofar. 

Some of the famous ancient frescoes of Sadad
Some of the famous ancient frescoes of Sadad

The ancient biblical town of Sadad (Zedad) is mentioned in the Old Testament Books of Numbers, 34:8 and the Book of Ezekiel, 47:15, both reference Sadad "Zedad" as the north-eastern boundary of the biblical land of Canaan. Sadad lies 95 kilometres from Damascus and sixty from Homs. The city is home to several churches including two churches dedicated to St. Sergius and St. Theodore, famous for their frescoes.

Residents of Ancient Syrian Christian Town of Sadad Forced to Flee by Wahhabi Militants. With English subtitles

Warning: Graphic content Video (not for shock, 18+, not for faint-hearted, viewer discretion advised, aimed only at documenting crimes by FSA terrorists in Syria)


The video footage linked below is from the historic Syriac Christian town of Sadad in Syria's Homs countryside shows militants from the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) shouting with jubilation as they claim to have "liberated" the Christian town from the regime forces. The first scene shows the militants next to the corpses of murdered men wearing plain clothes and carrying no weapons. The cameraman claims they were members of the Shabbiha, a term that the opposition uses to refer to all pro-government Syrians. The second scene shows the militants trying to break open the door of the City Council building while taking down the Syrian flag and substituting it with the al-Qaeda flag after throwing the picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the ground and stepping on it.

LINK TO VIDEO

An appeal from the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Homs and Hama

Metropolitan Archbishop Silwanos Boutros Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Homs and Hama
Metropolitan Archbishop Silwanos Boutros Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Homs and Hama

"To the international institutions and organizations, humanitarian, religious and all those who have a humanitarian role in the world.


I appeal to you on behalf of the innocent elders, women, youth and children, held in areas that we can’t get to them and they can’t reach to us in the towns of the Sadad and Hafar. By appealing to those who do not allow them to get out of this besieged areas, and negotiate with them in a manner that helps to get them out and does not affect their safety. To any direction, either towards the City of Dyer Attia or the direction of Homs, and we will receive them.


I ask all who can reach the organizations in the world to reach out and dialogue with them to contribute to this work and to get them out safely, even though they were safe so far.... But they have been trapped for four days with no electricity, no water, no phones, and little food, and there are children in need of milk, and there are people who need medication..... And the number trapped in their homes exceeds three thousand people..... They did not allow them to get out, but put pressure on them and forced them to stay ...and they are refusing to negotiate their release.


To both organizations and to all our followers in the world. I hope that you cooperate with us.... And in a good manner, that will not affect the residents.... And I repeat in a good manner so as not to adversely affect our families. Please share this appeal on your pages and to newspapers, magazines and media and communicate it with who can play a positive role in finding the right solution to get them out.


And we appeal to them in the name of God the merciful, to have mercy on those innocent people who have no guilt, and let them out unharmed..... And deal with them with good.... asking and praying for that God give them patient, and gives them strength, hope and courage, health and wellness ….. Lord ... Lord.... Lord.... Do not abandon them."


Bishop Silvanus

Syriac Church calls three days of mandatory fasting and prayer

The head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, Zakka I (Iwas) on wedensday 23 issued an Apostolic Bull calledthree days of mandatory fasting and paryer, to be observed worldwide, for the freedom of the two abducted Bishops and safety of the beloved town of Sadad.

Apostolic Bull issued by the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church
Apostolic Bull issued by the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church

Extract from the Apostolic Bull issued by the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church  "Today, our dearly beloved in Christ, we write to you with great sorrow within us regarding the great and beloved city of Sadad which came under attack from an unknown armed group and our people in Sadad have suffered great dangers as a consequence. We have called upon the international community to help ease the situation and help our Syrian people from the vicious attacks preserving and protecting this historical and great city. To help us secure the release of the two Archbishops and to protect “the mother of the Syrians” Sadad and its residents, and for peace to prevail in Syria we declare a three day fasting beginning on Thursday 24th October to Saturday 26th October concluding with the Holy liturgy in all our churches worldwide on Sunday. May God the Almighty accept your fasting and prayers. Amen"

 

Damascus Prayer Vigil and Solidarity Protest

Saturday 27/10/201: Prayer vigil and solidarity protest, in front of the St. George’s Syriac Orthodox Cathedral, Bab Touma (Thomas Gate) Damascus, in solidarity with the people of the Sadad, Homs province and the kidnapped Archbishops  of Aleppo.

Prayer vigil and solidarity protest, in front of the St. George’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral, Bab Touma (Thomas Gate) Damascus
Prayer vigil and solidarity protest, in front of the St. George’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral, Bab Touma (Thomas Gate) Damascus

0 Comments

Mon

21

Oct

2013

Patriarch Rai: "the hypocritical goal" of the war in Syria:

Sources Ora Pro Siria website and L'Orient-le-jour newspaper

"Empty the Mashreq (the Middle East) of its Islamic-Christian civilization" and "maintain a state of permanent war in the region for political and economic purposes." 

A British AS50 sniper rifle in the hands of a western backed FSA militant in Aleppo
A British AS50 sniper rifle in the hands of a western backed FSA militant in Aleppo

Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Rai - reports Vatican Radio - expressed his harsh denunciation during an audience with a delegation of representatives of eleven Christian and Muslim associations in France, who came to Lebanon to express their solidarity with a country which for months has been at the forefront of a humanitarian emergency caused by the Syrian conflict. According to the cardinal, this tragic situation is likely to worsen with the approach of winter, to become "a humanitarian catastrophe".

Extremist rebels in northern Syria photographed moments before they behead a pro Government fighter.
Extremist rebels in northern Syria photographed moments before they behead a pro Government fighter.

"We know that some countries have decided to host on their soil 10,000 displaced persons each. Rai protested strongly against such a decision.  “You are uprooting a people; it destroys the Christian-Muslim civilization built over thirteen or fourteen centuries of coexistence. This is actually the purpose of this hypocritical war:   empty the Middle East of its civilization and maintain a permanent state of war for political and economic purposes. We attach great importance to partnership with our fellow Muslims. We have built a valuable common civilization we care about ".

 

“You are uprooting a people; it destroys the Christian-Muslim civilization"..."This is actually the purpose of this hypocritical war"..."We have built a valuable common civilization we care about"

A delegation from the Syrian Women's Union in Sednaya visit the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Sednaya to offer their greetings to Mother Vronaa on the occasion of the feast of St. Takla. September 2013
A delegation from the Syrian Women's Union in Sednaya visit the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Sednaya to offer their greetings to Mother Vronaa on the occasion of the feast of St. Takla. September 2013

Report from German TV with English subtitles. Syrian Christians a target - how the minority is being persecuted in and outside of Syria.

German Camp in Syria hosting Takfiri militants: Der Spiegel

The German news outlet, Der Spiegel, reports that some 200 German Takfiri militants have gathered in northern Syria in what has been dubbed the German Camp. Read more in this Press TV news item.

___________________________

Takfirism

“You are uprooting a people; it destroys the Christian-Muslim civilization"..."This is actually the purpose of this hypocritical war"..."We have built a valuable common civilization we care about"

H.E. Cardinal Bechara Rai

Takfiri are those who hold a fundamentalists view of Islam and condone acts of violence as a legitimate method of achieving religious and or political goals. Takfiris believe that all those including fellow Muslims who do not follow their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam are to be considered as kafir (infidel).

Above the political leaders of NATO member states, America, France and the United Kingdom with the King of Saudi Arabia, a strong regional GCC/Gulf ally and major arms purchaser from the West. Saudi Arabia arms and funds Takfiri fighters in Syria.

___________________________

Israel is providing medical assistance to al-Qaeda (Takfiri) Militants wounded in Syria

Two part report from Al Mayadeen TV Lebanon highlights the fact that Israel is providing medical assistance to wounded al-Qaeda (Takfiri) Militants. Also featured in this news report is the immigration of Syrian Christians to Europe. With English subtitles.


69 Comments

Sat

19

Oct

2013

A Defiant Act of Hope and Resistance

News item gathered from various sources

Largest ever statue of Christ erected in the birthplace of Christianity

Largest ever statue of Christ erected in the birthplace of Christianity “I Came to Save the World”
Largest ever statue of Christ erected in the birthplace of Christianity “I Came to Save the World”

Envoys of the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches have erected a monumental statue of Christ on top of the Cherubim Mountain in the Syrian city of Saidnaya. The statue which symbolizes hope and peace is titled “I Came to Save the World.”

 
The monument was created thanks to a Russian Foundation called the “Spiritual Heritage of St. Paul” which is known for its charity projects in the Middle East. This bronze sculpture is the largest ever statue of Christ erected in the birthplace of Christianity.  Located 2.1 kilometres above sea level on top of the Cherubim Mountain (Angel Mountain) at the Monastery of the Cherubim in the Syrian city of Saidnaya the monument is visible from Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine as well as Israel.

 

The project was curated by Moscow Theological Academy with parts of the sculpture being carved and manufactured in Armenia.

 

During the three days, when the works were under way the Syrian army halted its operations in the vicinity of the area in respect of the process of erecting the monument.

 


The monument stands second only in size to the world's tallest statue of Christ, the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro but when the statue is taken in combination with its plinth the structure actually exceeds the high of the famous Rio statue and stands 39m meters tall.

At an elevation of 2.1 kilometres above sea level and at a height of 39 meters the “I Came to Save the World” monument can be seen from four neighbouring countries.  Click on image to enlarge
At an elevation of 2.1 kilometres above sea level and at a height of 39 meters the “I Came to Save the World” monument can be seen from four neighbouring countries. Click on image to enlarge

Update: 20/11/2013

Terrorists bombing the Cherubim Monastery

Below video with English subtitles: FSA Terrorists Attack Ancient Cherubim Monastery in Saidnaya location of Syria's Tallest statue of Christ.


83 Comments

Wed

16

Oct

2013

50,000 Christians in Syria Request Russian Citizenship

Artical courtesy of Notes on Arab Orthodoxy. Russian original, from the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, here.  

"The Christians of Qalamoun believe that the goal of the terrorists, who are supported by the West, is the elimination of our native presence by the vilest means"

 

The Russian Foreign Ministry has received through diplomatic channels an application from the Syrian Christians from the region of Qalamoun in the province of Damascus, home to the world-famous Christian holy places in Syria. We publish here an annotated translation from the Arabic:

 

"We, the Christians of Qalamoun, living in Seidnaya, Maarat Seidnaya, Maloula, and Marouna find ourselves, for the first time since the birth of Christ, under the threat of expulsion from our land. We prefer death to wandering in refugee camps. Therefore, we shall defend our homeland, honor and faith and shall not leave the land upon which Christ walked.

We see Russia as a powerful force for peace and stability throughout the world. Russia holds a firm line in defense of Syria, her people and her territorial integrity. We have also always felt the support of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Over the centuries, the Christians of the East have known that no one cares about their interests as much as Russia. In times of trial, Russia has always been with us politically, economically, in humanitarian terms, and other ways. 

Since Syrian law allows the possession of dual citizenship, we have chosen to apply for citizenship of the Russian Federation, if it is possible. Receiving it would be an honor for any Syrian Christian who wishes to obtain it. We will be under Russia's protection if we come under the threat of physical destruction from the terrorists. Out of around fifty thousand people-- doctors, engineers, lawyers, entrepreneurs-- who are prepared to sign this appeal, none wants to leave his home. We have everything needed; we are not asking for money.

 

A woman cries at the funeral of three Syrian Christians who were killed during the rebel attack on the ancient town of Maaloula, thousands were displaced by the rebels.  (Photo: AFP - Anwar Amro)
A woman cries at the funeral of three Syrian Christians who were killed during the rebel attack on the ancient town of Maaloula, thousands were displaced by the rebels. (Photo: AFP - Anwar Amro)

"we are frightened by the West's plotting and the hate speech of the fanatics"

Our appeal does not mean that we doubt the Syrian army and the government. However, we are frightened by the West's plotting and the hate speech of the fanatics who are waging a brutal war against our country. What happened in Maloula was a lesson for us.

With deep respect for Russia and her leadership and for the Russian Orthodox Church, 

The Christians of the regions of Seidnaya, Maarat Seidnaya, Maaloula, and Marouna. October 3, 2013"

The text was signed by representatives of families who have applied for Russian citizenship.


See also: Fighting traps nuns, orphans in Syria's ancient Maaloula

                Saudi Arabia to Christians: Shut Up!

                The Scurrilous Remarks of John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State

                Maaloula Update

                Western backed rebels attack Maaloula


6 Comments

Wed

16

Oct

2013

Patriarch Yazigi slams reaction of international community to abducted Bishops' dossier

Patriarch John X (Yazigis) seen here when visited at the patriarchal residence in Lebanon by then U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Maura Connelly. Patriarch John X is the brother of kidnapped Metropolitan Paul Yazigi. 16/08/2013
Patriarch John X (Yazigis) seen here when visited at the patriarchal residence in Lebanon by then U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Maura Connelly. Patriarch John X is the brother of kidnapped Metropolitan Paul Yazigi. 16/08/2013

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East John X Yazigi slammed on Tuesday the reaction, or lack thereof, of governments and the international community in regards to the case of the abducted Bishops Boulos Yazigi and John Ibrahim, calling for taking "responsible" stances in this regard.

 

Separately, Patriarch Yazigi stressed the need to form a new government in Lebanon in a bid to avoid constitutional vacuum.

On April 22, Bishops Boulos Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church and John Ibrahim of the Assyrian Orthodox Church were kidnapped while they were traveling outside the northern city of Aleppo. Source here

Remembering the Kidnapped Clergy of Aleppo

Above image top left and top right: Metropolitan Yohanna Ibrahim, Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, and Metropolitan Paul Yazigi, Antiochian Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo both of whom were kidnapped when the car they were travelling in was stopped by terrorist rebels in northern Aleppo province close to the Turkish border on 22nd of April last.  The driver of the car, Deacon Fathallah Kabud was killed by the terrorists during the course of the kidnapping. The whereabouts of the archbishops remains unknown.

 

Above image lower left and lower right: Fr. Michael Kayal, Armenian Catholic Church and Fr. Maher Isaac Mahfouz, Antiochian Orthodox Church both of whom were kidnapped when the bus they were travelling on near Aleppo was stopped by terrorist rebels on 9th of February last. The whereabouts of the priests remains unknown.

 

There is much speculation as to whether the clergy have been killed or are still held in captivity. Many within the church both in Syria and the wider region have questioned the Western media’s relative silence with regard to these and so many other crimes committed by Western backed rebels. One recent report states that the kidnapped bishops may still be alvie.

Funeral of Syriac Orthodox Martyr, Rev. Deacon Fathallah Kabud

Funeral service at the Syriac Orthodox church, Aleppo for the late Rev. Deacon Fathallah Kabud. He was acting as driver for the archbishops on the day of the kidnapping. He was killed by the terrorists during the course of events. The terrorists filmed the dead body and identity card of the late deacon and uploaded the footage to the internet with a narrative blaming the Government forces, a constant tactic used by many opposition rebels during the course of the current conflict.


66 Comments

Tue

01

Oct

2013

Terrorism has no Religion

There is no coercion in Islam

Social media activists are reporting that the rebel terrorist group Jabhat Al Nusra (Victory Front), an al Qaeda affiliate, have forced Christian families in the city of Raqqa in Syria to convert to Islam or face death. Other recent reports of forced conversion have also come from residents who fled the majority Christian town of Maaloula which was overrun by the same faction on September 4th.

The Holy Koran refuses Coercion in Islam

“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.”[Sûrah al-Baqarah: 256] Koran

 

“If it had been your Lord’s will, all of the people on Earth would have believed. Would you then compel the people so to have them believe?” [Sûrah Yûnus: 99] Koran

This image purports to be that of a Christian man, in the rebel controlled city of Raqqa, who was brutally beaten by Jabhat la Nusra in an attempt to force his conversion to Islam.
This image purports to be that of a Christian man, in the rebel controlled city of Raqqa, who was brutally beaten by Jabhat la Nusra in an attempt to force his conversion to Islam.


84 Comments

Tue

01

Oct

2013

Fr. Thomas Zain, Interviewed on Syria by Hellenic Public Radio.

Archpriest Thomas Zain, Vicar General of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese and Dean of St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral of Brooklyn, NY, was interviewed at length on September 14 on the situation in Syria by Archimandrite Eugene Pappas of Hellenic Public Radio. Programme includes phone-in contributions from listeners. The interview is available for listening below in its entirety. Listen here

 



6 Comments

As-Salaam-Alaikum

Petition to Journalists asking for responsible and accountable reporting on Syria. Please sign

H.E. The Sunni Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun - I am the Mufti of all Syrians – Sunni Muslims, Christians, Alawites, Druze – of all the diversity of sects we had before the war. There is no choice other than reconciliation."

H.B. John X Yazigi, Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -

The Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch in Syria, John Yazigi, says Syrian Christians "will not submit and yield" to foreign-backed extremist militants who attack "our people and holy places."