Sadad, another Christian town falls to hand of terror

The Old Testament town of "Zedad" over run by terrorists

Article from varius sources including Fides, the Vatican’s Pontifical Missions news service

Sadad - The Christian towns of Sadad and Hofar, situated in the region of Qualamun, in a strategic area along the road that joins Homs to Damascus, has been since 22/10/2013 at the centre of the battle between the Syrian army and rebel militias lead by terrorist groups.


Funeral of martyrs from Sadad who were killed when the terrorists attacked the town.
Funeral of martyrs from Sadad who were killed when the terrorists attacked the town.

The assault on Sadad by rebel militias took place on Monday October 21 in the early hours of the morning while the population was asleep. According to local sources, the raid took place in a similar way to that suffered a month ago in the historic Christian village of Maalula. Several hundred men distributed among the elements of the extremists including the al-Qaeda terrorist linked Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant along with the Brigade Farouq entered in to Sadad from three directions, with thirty military vehicles. The extremist rebels tatgeted and occupied the police station, government centers, public facilities, the post office, and hospital where even the sick were taken hostage. The terrorists have caused the deaths of several local Christians and damaged several churches. On Tuesday, the army began a counteroffensive, intervening in support of the local police forces. Meanwhile, some of the 15 thousand inhabitants - mostly Syriac Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox and Catholics of the Syriac rite - began their exodus in the direction of the artery link between Damascus and Homs. However about 3 thousand people – have remained besieged in the villages of Sadad and Hofar. 

Some of the famous ancient frescoes of Sadad
Some of the famous ancient frescoes of Sadad

The ancient biblical town of Sadad (Zedad) is mentioned in the Old Testament Books of Numbers, 34:8 and the Book of Ezekiel, 47:15, both reference Sadad "Zedad" as the north-eastern boundary of the biblical land of Canaan. Sadad lies 95 kilometres from Damascus and sixty from Homs. The city is home to several churches including two churches dedicated to St. Sergius and St. Theodore, famous for their frescoes.

Residents of Ancient Syrian Christian Town of Sadad Forced to Flee by Wahhabi Militants. With English subtitles

Warning: Graphic content Video (not for shock, 18+, not for faint-hearted, viewer discretion advised, aimed only at documenting crimes by FSA terrorists in Syria)

The video footage linked below is from the historic Syriac Christian town of Sadad in Syria's Homs countryside shows militants from the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) shouting with jubilation as they claim to have "liberated" the Christian town from the regime forces. The first scene shows the militants next to the corpses of murdered men wearing plain clothes and carrying no weapons. The cameraman claims they were members of the Shabbiha, a term that the opposition uses to refer to all pro-government Syrians. The second scene shows the militants trying to break open the door of the City Council building while taking down the Syrian flag and substituting it with the al-Qaeda flag after throwing the picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the ground and stepping on it.


An appeal from the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Homs and Hama

Metropolitan Archbishop Silwanos Boutros Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Homs and Hama
Metropolitan Archbishop Silwanos Boutros Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Homs and Hama

"To the international institutions and organizations, humanitarian, religious and all those who have a humanitarian role in the world.

I appeal to you on behalf of the innocent elders, women, youth and children, held in areas that we can’t get to them and they can’t reach to us in the towns of the Sadad and Hafar. By appealing to those who do not allow them to get out of this besieged areas, and negotiate with them in a manner that helps to get them out and does not affect their safety. To any direction, either towards the City of Dyer Attia or the direction of Homs, and we will receive them.

I ask all who can reach the organizations in the world to reach out and dialogue with them to contribute to this work and to get them out safely, even though they were safe so far.... But they have been trapped for four days with no electricity, no water, no phones, and little food, and there are children in need of milk, and there are people who need medication..... And the number trapped in their homes exceeds three thousand people..... They did not allow them to get out, but put pressure on them and forced them to stay ...and they are refusing to negotiate their release.

To both organizations and to all our followers in the world. I hope that you cooperate with us.... And in a good manner, that will not affect the residents.... And I repeat in a good manner so as not to adversely affect our families. Please share this appeal on your pages and to newspapers, magazines and media and communicate it with who can play a positive role in finding the right solution to get them out.

And we appeal to them in the name of God the merciful, to have mercy on those innocent people who have no guilt, and let them out unharmed..... And deal with them with good.... asking and praying for that God give them patient, and gives them strength, hope and courage, health and wellness ….. Lord ... Lord.... Lord.... Do not abandon them."

Bishop Silvanus

Syriac Church calls three days of mandatory fasting and prayer

The head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, Zakka I (Iwas) on wedensday 23 issued an Apostolic Bull calledthree days of mandatory fasting and paryer, to be observed worldwide, for the freedom of the two abducted Bishops and safety of the beloved town of Sadad.

Apostolic Bull issued by the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church
Apostolic Bull issued by the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church

Extract from the Apostolic Bull issued by the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church  "Today, our dearly beloved in Christ, we write to you with great sorrow within us regarding the great and beloved city of Sadad which came under attack from an unknown armed group and our people in Sadad have suffered great dangers as a consequence. We have called upon the international community to help ease the situation and help our Syrian people from the vicious attacks preserving and protecting this historical and great city. To help us secure the release of the two Archbishops and to protect “the mother of the Syrians” Sadad and its residents, and for peace to prevail in Syria we declare a three day fasting beginning on Thursday 24th October to Saturday 26th October concluding with the Holy liturgy in all our churches worldwide on Sunday. May God the Almighty accept your fasting and prayers. Amen"


Damascus Prayer Vigil and Solidarity Protest

Saturday 27/10/201: Prayer vigil and solidarity protest, in front of the St. George’s Syriac Orthodox Cathedral, Bab Touma (Thomas Gate) Damascus, in solidarity with the people of the Sadad, Homs province and the kidnapped Archbishops  of Aleppo.

Prayer vigil and solidarity protest, in front of the St. George’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral, Bab Touma (Thomas Gate) Damascus
Prayer vigil and solidarity protest, in front of the St. George’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral, Bab Touma (Thomas Gate) Damascus

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Petition to Journalists asking for responsible and accountable reporting on Syria. Please sign

H.E. The Sunni Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun - I am the Mufti of all Syrians – Sunni Muslims, Christians, Alawites, Druze – of all the diversity of sects we had before the war. There is no choice other than reconciliation."

H.B. John X Yazigi, Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -

The Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch in Syria, John Yazigi, says Syrian Christians "will not submit and yield" to foreign-backed extremist militants who attack "our people and holy places."

H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, Sunni Grand Mufti of Lebanon - “Christians’ fears nowadays over their presence and their dignity in the Middle East are right and justified”

H.B Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch - The West and other countries are helping to foment conflict in the Middle East "there is a plan to destroy the Arab world for political and economic interests"

H.E Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, Deputy President of the Higher Shiite Council Lebanon - Called on the U.S to “work on giving people their freedom in Syria by refraining from supporting radical Islamists and criminals who are killing innocent people and violating their freedoms.

 H.B. Gregorios III Laham, Melkite greek-Catholic Patriarch of Antioch - "Every day Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into Syria with the sole intent to kill and not one country has done anything to stop them."

H.H. Mor Ignatios Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (R.I.P.) - "Syrians are the only ones who will decide their destiny, and that decision will be taken in Damascus, not in a European country."

H.H. Mor Ignatius Ephrem II Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -  “Christians and Muslims alike are exposed to a terrorist war in the region”.... the Patriarch denounced the silence of the world regarding crimes committed by armed terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.

H.B. Youssef III Younan,  Syriac Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch - "We Syrian Christians, sold by the West for oil” - "Christians in the Middle East have not only been abandoned, but we have been lied to and betrayed by Western nations, like the United States and the European Union."

H.B. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, “Who appointed them [United States] as ‘policemen of democracy’ in the Middle East? ”

H.E. Maroun Laham, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan  - “This interest, on the part of the United States or of Europe, for human rights or for the defence of the weak, no one believes. No one believes it!,”

H.E. Jacques Behnan Hindo,  Syriac Catholic Archbishop ofHassaké-Nisibi (northeastern Syria) - Regarding the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabuis “Please excuse my expression. They are screwing all Syrians

H.E. Theodosius Hanna, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia (Nablus, Palestine) - "Will the displacement of Christians from Syria, their killing and slaughter and the destruction of their churches lead to an alleged democracy?"

Rev. Georges Massouh Antiochian Orthodox priest and director of the Christian Muslim Studies Center at Balamand University, Lebanon. "It goes without saying that Christians in Syria do not consider themselves greater or more important that their Muslim partners in the one nation. They find themselves in solidarity with all the people of Syria, in the calamities that they share and the strikes that fall upon all their heads."