Barnabas Aid - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
“Greatest massacre of Christians in Syri...

Email:

“Greatest massacre of Christians in Syria”: dozens killed in Islamist siege

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

“Greatest massacre of Christians in Syria”: dozens killed in Islamist siege

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria

These events which happened in Saddad are considered the greatest massacre of Christians in Syria… We ask if the terrorists are gone permanently, or if there is the possibility of a return for a second massacre… We cried out to the world and no-one heard us. Where is the Christian conscience?

Senior church leader in Syria

Dozens of people were killed when Islamist rebels besieged the Christian towns of Saddad and Haffar in Syria. As churches, homes and schools were looted and destroyed, 2,500 families fled, while 3,000 people, including children, were held as a human shield for a week.   

Churches were vandalised, looted and graffitied with insults against Christianity
Churches were vandalised, looted and graffitied with insults against Christianity

Militants from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front stormed Saddad and Haffar on Monday 21 October shouting “Allahu Akhbar” [“Allah is great”]. They set up sniper posts and launched a campaign of shelling, killing anyone they found in the streets. Children were crying in fear as the militants took over the towns.

One of our partners in Syria said:

1,500 families were held as hostages and human shield for a week, amongst them children, old men, young men, and women. Some of them fled… some were killed and some were threatened by the bullet, by strangulation, execution and with the destruction of their houses.

Estimates of the number of Christians killed during the siege of Saddad and Haffar range from 45 to 70; children were among the dead.

Homes, businesses, schools and other public buildings, including the hospital, were looted and destroyed; 14 church buildings were attacked and graffitied with insults against Christianity. 

Thousands fled the violence, many with just the clothes on their backs. Those who took money, documents or other valuables were robbed.

Our partners helped Christian families to evacuate to neighbouring villages, the central city of Homs and the capital, Damascus. Barnabas sent funds to provide transport, blankets, food parcels and other essentials. We are helping 500 families in Saddad and 68 in Haffar.

Another senior church leader said:

We are very grateful to Barnabas Aid, because it is always there in the right time, especially in emergency situations. May God bless Barnabas Aid for being on the side of persecuted Christians.

On Monday 28 October, government forces recaptured Saddad and Haffar, enabling people to return. They came home to a scene described as “catastrophic” by one of our partners. Almost 40 bodies had been dumped in mass graves and had to be dug up to be identified. Around half of the buildings in Saddad had been destroyed;there was no power, water or telephone connection. The Christian population is in dire need.   

Before the Islamist siege, the towns had been relatively safe and hundreds of internally displaced families had sought refuge there. The Christians had lived peaceably with their Muslim neighbours for decades and harmonious relations have continued during the civil war, even with the arrival of Christian families from elsewhere.  

Saddad, a town that is mentioned in the Bible (as Zedad; Numbers 34:8; Ezekiel 47:15), and Haffar are around four miles apart; they are situated between Homs and Damascus.   

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said:

What has happened in Saddad and Haffar is utterly horrific, and yet this massacre has barely featured in the Western media. Is the murder of dozens of Syrian Christians so inconsequential? It is clear that our brothers and sisters in Syria need our help more than ever as their plight is ignored and they run out of refuges from the Islamist storm that is battering their communities.

Give Today

If you would like to help Christians from Saddad and Haffar, please send a donation to the Middle East Fund to help Christians in Syria (project 00-1032).

If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference Middle East Fund to help Christians in Syria (project 00-1032).

If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of your regional office. Please quote project reference Middle East Fund to help Christians in Syria (project 00-1032).

For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/1032 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).

Please Pray:
  • Pray that all those who lost loved ones in the siege will receive comfort and support as they grieve.  
  • Pray for the children and all those who suffered acute emotional distress, that they will be reassured by the “everlasting arms” underneath them (Deuteronomy 33:27).
  • Give thanks that Saddad and Haffar have now been liberated, and pray that the towns will be rebuilt quickly. Pray that those who have lost their homes will be accommodated elsewhere.
Help us: Share this article

Email:

“Greatest massacre of Christians in Syria”: dozens killed in Islamist siege

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • “The training helped me to establish the foundation of my faith in the Word of God and build my life on it. I deliberately teach the course to my friends.” Mr Lepcha, a Nepali living in India, had participated in a tutor training course sponsored by Barnabas that equipped him to lead Bible training courses. He then also started serving as an elder in his church. Give thanks that these courses are building up the faith of 419 Christian students and 54 teachers, most of whom are converts from other religions. It is also helping them stand strong when they meet resistance from their relatives and communities. Pray that they will experience God’s comfort when experiencing persecution and God’s strength to reach out in love to those who are hurting them. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 13 hours ago

    • Pray for a Christian family in Kandhamal in Orissa state, India, who have been left devastated after their home was destroyed for the third time by Hindu extremists. The Digals of Budruka village were among hundreds of Christian families to lose their home in the horrendous anti-Christian violence of December 2007. They returned two months later and rebuilt their house, but in August 2008 the attacks resumed, and their second home was also destroyed. After receiving financial aid from the government they were able to rebuild it again this year, but in April it was wrecked once more, shattering their hopes of returning to their village to cultivate their land. Pray that the Lord will comfort them in their distress and provide them with a peaceful dwelling-place and secure home (Isaiah 32:18). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Sep 2014 00:00

    • The landslide victory of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India’s general election in May sparked alarm for Christians and other minorities in the country. The BJP is the political wing of a Hindu nationalist movement, Hindutva, which is striving to make India a religiously pure nation. It has given support to Hindu extremist groups that attack Christians, and states under the party’s rule have generally experienced a rise in anti-Christian violence. The BJP has introduced “anti-conversion” laws in a number of states, which are used to prevent legitimate Christian evangelism. Prior to the general election, the BJP pledged to introduce national legislation to curb “missionary” activity and end proselytising if elected. Pray that the BJP will rule justly and that the rights and freedoms of all Indian citizens will be upheld. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Christians in Sri Lanka facing attacks from Buddhist extremists, who have forced the closure of numerous churches. In an apparently positive move, the government has created a Religious Disputes Unit to address conflicts between different groups and combat attempts to create religious discord. But many Christians and Muslims believe that Buddhist extremists are allowed to operate with impunity and that the new unit will not solve the problems faced by non-Buddhists. A cap on the building of places of worship has also been announced, and this seems to serve the Buddhist lobby, which is opposed to expanding Christian activity. Pray for protection for Christian congregations and that their ministry and mission will not be further impeded. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Cry out to the Lord for Alexis Prem Kumar, a 47-year-old Christian minister from India who was abducted in Afghanistan on 2 June. No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but three Taliban militants have been arrested in connection with it. Alexis had worked for an NGO in Afghanistan since 2011, helping returning refugees. He was leaving a school near Herat for Afghan children who have recently returned from Iran or Pakistan when he was seized. Give thanks for Alexis’ willingness to serve the Lord in what remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians, and pray for his safe return. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Sep 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Aid 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Aid is a registered trade mark