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ICC Note: Yet another disturbing report has come from Syria. Two Christian young men driving from the city of Homs to a Christian village were attacked by a group of jihadists who opened fire on the car, forcing it to stop. After seeing a cross worn by one of the two men inside they pulled him out and beheaded him. The other, believed to be dead was left after the Jihadists looted the car. The second man was able to reach a nearby town and receive treatment. This is just the latest incident illustrating the horrific shadow war on Christians taking place inside the large-scale conflict across Syria that has attracted thousands of foreign fighters from around the world.
01/16/2014 Syria (Fides) – Islamist groups have killed and beheaded a young Christian man, seriously wounding another. The incident, which occurred on 8 January, was reported to Fides only now by a priest in the diocese of Homs. The two, Firas Nader (29), and Fadi Matanius Mattah (34), were traveling by car from Homs to the Christian village of Marmarita. A group of five armed jihadists intercepted the vehicle and opened fire on the car. Upon reaching the car, militiamen, noting that Fadi was wearing a cross around his neck, beheaded him. They then took money and documents, leaving Firas on the ground wounded, believing he was already dead. Firas instead managed to escape, reaching the town of Almshtaeih on foot and was then transferred to the hospital in Tartou. Some of the faithful were able to recover the body of Mattah, bringing him to Marmarita, where the local Christian community expressed strong indignation for the horrible act carried out.
According to a statement sent to Fides by Aid to the Church in Need” (ACN), violence against Christians in Syria, is becoming “one of the worst persecutions endured by Christians in this part of the third millennium”. According to the latest reports, more than 600,000 Christians – a third of the total Syrian faithful – are internally displaced or living as refugees in neighboring countries. Christian leaders confirm the massive exodus of Christians from Syria, which could seriously jeopardize the future of Christians in the nation.

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