Thursday, November 7, 2013
Murdered Christians: "Why Does Not the World Raise Their Voice?" -- Islamists Plunder Saint Symeon Monastery
(Damascus) In the meantime details about the murder of 45 Christians in Sadad are becoming known. A whole family was thrown alive into a well by the Islamists, where they died. Islamist rebels in the north also targeted the "Rock of Symeon" from the 5th Century. The "rock of Simeon" in Arabic, Kalat Siman, is a large monastery with cathedral from the early Byzantine period. It originated as a spiritual center in the place where the saint Symeon the Stylite lived on a column until his death after 37 years. Symeon Stylites died in 459 and became the first pillar saint in Church history.
During his lifetime he was sought by thousands of pilgrims, seeking advice and assistance, as Symeon was not had a reputation for holiness, but God worked many miracles through him. Even Emperor Theodosius II (401-450) climbed up the column in order to ask him for advice. The rush of pilgrims was also so great after his death, that the Byzantine Emperor Zeno (425-491) established the Symeon Cloister on the road to Antioch, 35 km to the north west of Aleppo. During his reign the mighty cathedral and the monastery was built as a pilgrimage center. At the center of the great crossroads is the 15-18 meter high pillar on which according to tradition the saint had lived on a wooden platform.
Saint Symeon the Stylite Islamic conquest in 1164
After the conquest of Islam had rolled over it several times , the monastery was near the border between the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic sphere. In the 10th Century, the monastery was fortified because of the increasing Islamic pressure. 1164 saw the conquest by the Seljuk Turks and the Muslim decline.
The jihadists of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant control part of the city of Aleppo have recently put the Cathedral of Saint Symeon the Stylite in the crosshairs. They destroyed what was left to destroy that was recognizably Christian and dragged away what was more valuable, reported Le veilleur de Nineveh. The impressive ruins are a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
"How Can You Commit Such Inhuman and Brutal Acts?"
The area of Aleppo near the Turkish border is in a dramatic situation, as the Christian Claude Z. says: "The situation is critical: we have had no electricity for ten days, there is a lack of food, rebels and army are fighting and the Islamist terrorists have introduced Sharia law in the areas they where they control part of the city. "
As Kirche in Not [The Catholic relief organization in German Zone] has reported, 30 of the 45 CHristians killed in Sadad were found in two mass graves. Many of the dead showed signs of abuse. Among them were old people, women and the disabled. Six members of a family, including a 90-year-old woman were thrown alive into a well by the Islamists , where they perished miserably.
The Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Gregory III. Laham said, "How can one commit such inhuman and bestial acts to older people and their families? I do not understand: Why does not the world raise their voice against such brutality. Extremism and fanaticism have overtaken Syria. What has happened in Sadad exemplifies what experience of all Christians in Syria is."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Link to Katholisches...