Catholic World News

Islamic State threatens key Syrian Christian center; thousands flee

November 06, 2015

New attacks by the Islamic State have driven thousands of Christians from their homes around Sadad, Syria.

Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh of Homs told Aid to the Church in Need that the Christian residents of Sadad fled their homes after the Islamic State seized a nearby village and massed its forces against the town. If Sadad falls, the archbishop said, “We would lose the center of Christianity in our diocese.”

About 15,000 people have reportedly sought shelter in Homs and other cities, leaving most of their family possessions behind in their haste to escape. Church leaders are struggling to find adequate temporary housing for the refugees.

Sadad has been a Christian stronghold for centuries. The people of the town still speak Aramaic, the language that Jesus used. “Its loss doesn’t bear contemplating,” said an aide to the archbishop. “We truly are fearing for our cultural heritage.”

 


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 07, 2015 6:09 AM ET USA

    Pray that Russia, the most powerful, respected, and feared military force in Syria, answers the pleas of Archbishop Alnemeh.