Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: Rampant violence and aggression towards Christians is continuing to push them from their homes and communities in the Middle East. Areas such as Gaza, Iraq, and Syria are witnessing some of the most extremism there. While the United Nations and other organizations have been providing assistance, many are still displaced from their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

By: Saliba Sarsar

08/01/14 Middle East (Catholic News Agency) – If there is hell on earth, it is found these days in the Middle East where aggression and violence are rampant. Political and religious extremism are leading to fear, disempowerment, dispossession, trauma, injury, and death, in addition to the destruction of property and infrastructure.  Major areas of the Gaza Strip, Iraq, and Syria are up in flames and in ruins.

In Gaza, Palestinian civilians—both Muslim and Christian—are caught in the bloody fight between Hamas and Israel.  More than 1,229 have been killed and 7,000 have been injured, as of July 29.  In the midst of this tragedy, over 180,000 have sought “refuge” away from the explosions, but nowhere is really safe.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) for Palestine, religious organizations, and others have been providing much needed assistance. An example is the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius, which has opened its doors to around 1,000 Muslims.  Archbishop Alexios welcomed all.  His kindness and religious duty brought to mind memories of Father Theodosius of the Greek Orthodox Monastery in Al-Azarieh (or Bethany) who gave my brother Michael and I temporary shelter as we escaped the battle for Jerusalem during the June 1967 War.

Similar acts of generosity are taking place in war-torn Syria.  In Allepo, for instance, where water is scarce, monasteries—with wells—have been distributing water to Christians and Muslims alike.  But there has been a series of displacement of people as well as destruction of life and property.  On September 7, 2013, in the ancient town of Maaloula, jihadists beheaded a few Christians and forced the conversion of others.  The fighters opposing the regime of Bashar al-Assad drove some 80,000 Christians from Homs.  Christians from there and elsewhere have become internally or externally displaced, along with Muslims. Recently, in Yacubiyah, a village located near the Turkish border in the Orontes Valley in north-west Syria, an air-launched missile severely damaged the Franciscan monastery.

[Full Story]