ASIA/SYRIA - "Living as a Christian in the hell of Aleppo": the testimony of a priest

Friday, 19 October 2012

Aleppo (Agenzia Fides) - Christians in Aleppo are victims of death and destruction due to the fighting which for months, has been affecting the city. The Christian neighborhoods, in recent times, have been hit by rebel forces fighting against the regular army and this has caused an exodus of civilians. This is what a greek catholic priest in Aleppo says in a heartfelt message sent to Fides, and Fides prefers to guarantee anonymity for security reasons.
The message, titled "Living as a Christian in the hell of Aleppo," explains: "For a long time the Christians of Aleppo have been living in neighborhoods close to each other: Sulaymaniyah, Aziziyah, Villas, Telefon Hawaii, Al Jabiriyah, Al Maydan, Al Surian , Al Tilal. These areas are currently under the control of the regular Syrian army, while neighboring areas are occupied by the opposition army. That is why our neighborhoods are daily objects of bombings and shootings by snipers among the rebels. The bombings are sometimes blind, without a purpose, and this causes severe damage to homes, or innocent victims such as bystanders."
The priest gave Fides the lists of the latest victims in the community: "Our latest martyrs are Fadi Samir Haddad, Elias Abdel Nour, Nichan Vartanian, Vartan Karbedjian, Maria Fahmeh and the young Joëlle Fahmeh, all innocent victims." He then goes on to explianing the damage to the structures: "the greek catholic Archbishopric in Tilal was severly damaged, injuring Fr.Imad Daher. The church of San Michele Arcangelo and an important monastery of nuns in Aziziyya were also damaged; a pastoral building of the greek-catholic community, called "The Hope" was hit, killing three people and causing dozens of casualties among the civilian population ". Even the convent of the Franciscan fathers in Sulaymaniyah was hit.
Meanwhile, the text continues, "bombs continue to fall on the area of Almidan, of Armenian majority, launched by armed opposition groups which is located in Bustan el-Bacha: they have killed several people, injured so many and destroyed many houses ". Some groups in the rugged opposition, where there are also jiahadisti groups, "fire on Christian houses and buildings, to force occupants to escape and then take possession " the text concludes. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 19/10/2012)