Sep 4, 2014
The jihadists’ video of the savage beheading of American freelance journalist James Foley on Aug. 19 has lifted the heavy pall of silence surrounding the brutalities of our day. With increasing horror, there is now being brought to light the systematic elimination of Christians taking place from North Africa to Syria and Iraq. In parts of the world where Christianity predates the rise of the Muslim faith by centuries, at least one million Christians have either been killed or have fled because of persecution.
The barbaric acts of beheading, crucifixion, rape, and infanticide are not always reported. Syria was once a place where Christians and Muslims lived as neighbors. Today, it has become an arena for horrible atrocities. The media have been reporting the bloodbath of vendettas carried out by Islamic jihadists against fellow Muslims. However, for whatever reason, the same media had been passing over in silence the jihadists’ killing of Christians for refusing to embrace Islam. At least, until now.
Sister Raghida, once the head of a Christian school in Damascus went public on radio in April of this year. She shocked listeners when she described the actions of jihadists who entered Maaloula in Syria. In this ancient Christian village where the inhabitants still speak Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke, the jihadists went on a killing spree, taking the lives of men, women, and children.
They crucified two youths for refusing to proclaim Islam's credo. They made the father of one of the young men watch in horror and, then, killed him. They went as far as to rip babies from the wombs of their pregnant mothers and hang them from a tree by their umbilical cords. In Deir Hafer, in the province of Aleppo, they took prisoners, crucified them and left their bodies in the main square for three days.